Discussions are underway to eventually reopen the Gordon Noren Skate Park in Clintonville.
The start of those discussions took place at the Park & Recreation Commission meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 26. Polly Goodell, daughter of Gordon Noren, spoke to the commission during the citizens’ forum portion of the meeting.
She told the commission that there currently are 50 contributors who have put funds toward reopening the skate park. She said she has applied for a $2,500 WEA Spark grant. Winners of that grant will be notified in October, she said.
She said she heard that a local group was also willing to make a sizable donation to the project.
“I’m here to ask what the city is willing to commit?” she asked the commission.
Goodell told the commission her dad, who passed away this year on July 21, worked hard to get the skate park built at its current location. She said he also fought with the city regarding lights, storage for the equipment, and repair of the equipment.
“The city did not commit to support it,” Goodell said.
Equipment for the skate park would range from $12,000-$21,000, Goodell said according to her research.
“The commitment would be the location, the lights, the insurance, and the storage of the equipment,” Goodell said. “That is the decision you are going to have to make.
Goodell informed the commission that if the city is unwilling to commit to reopening the skate park, she would put the Gordy Noren Memorial money to a different cause. When the commission discussed the skate park during the meeting, Justin Mc Auly, Park and Recreations director for the city of Clintonville, said the skate park fund had a balance of around $1,800 in 2012.
He said the city has received $1,250 in donations this year for the skate park. That puts the total in the fund at around $3,000.
“It’s a good start,” Mc Auly said.
Mc Auly said the problem with the equipment that was used at the skate park when it was open is it was made with untreated wood and the metal that was used rusted.
“We had a lot of liability issues, so that’s the reason why that one’s gone right now. It was just falling apart. It served it’s time,” Mc Auly said.
The skate park was located in a fenced in area at the Rec building.
“I plan on keeping the skate park there,” Mc Auly said. “I think it’s the perfect location. One thing we wanted to do was create it into a green space.”
Right now the skate park is surrounded by asphalt. He said the plan to make the area green would include removing the asphalt from around the fenced in area. Once that was removed, grass would be planted, as well as some trees. Picnic tables and benches would then be added.
“We can liven it up and make it look a little nicer,” Mc Auly said.
Regarding equipment for the skate park, Mc Auly said he researched some prices from one company, and the smallest package was $25,000. He said he would compare that equipment to the equipment Goodell researched.
Mayor Judy Magee told the commission kids ask her all the time when the skate park is coming back.
Commission member Jim Krause asked Mc Auly how often the skate park was used when it was open.
“When it was there, it was being used a lot,” Mc Auly said.
It was agreed that Mc Auly would start looking for grants and soliciting donations for the skate park.
See next week’s Clintonville Tribune Gazette for an article about the history of the Gordon Noren Skate Park.