Medina votes to seek $250,000 grant for skate park upgrades

Photo by Tom Rivers: Jeremy Brandenburg, 24, of Medina goes up a ramp and does a 180-degree turn during the Skate Jam on Sept. 15 at Butts Park.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 December 2018 at 1:32 pm

MEDINA – The Village Board is seeking a grant for up to $250,000 through the Tony Hawk Foundation and Ralph C. Wilson Foundation.

The Medina Skate Society will write the application and do the fundraising for the local match for the grant, said Alex Feig, who is leading the effort to upgrade the skate park at Butts Park. (The Orleans Renaissance Group, a non-profit organization, has agreed to accept any donations for the skate park.)

He told the Village Board on Monday that $22,000 has already been pledged for the project from a local business owner who requests anonymity.

Feig, 32, said other fundraisers and donations, as well as grants can meet the local match. The grant through the Hawk and Wilson foundations requires a local contribution of at least $50,000. Medina’s grant, if approved would range from $50,000 to $250,000, depending on the local contributions Feig said the community would have a year to raise the local share from when the grant is announced.

Feig has highlighted deficiencies at the current skate park, which is used by skateboarders and scooters. Feig said the skate park has aging equipment and cracks in the asphalt surface. He wants to reduce the size of the skate park, and put in a concrete surface and obstacles.

Feig was the lead organizer of a Skate Jam on Sept. 15. He used the event as an opportunity to survey skate park users and highlight the need to upgrade the site. The skate park was built on a former tennis court and has 20-year-old ramps, ledges and quarter pipes. The asphalt is prone to deterioration.

He told the Village Board an improved skate park would appeal to people who aren’t tied to traditional sports. He said it would also draw people to the community.

Tony Hawk is one of the most famous skateboarders in the world, and Ralph Wilson is the late founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills. Feig said the two foundations are embracing skate parks to promote recreation.

“It may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Feig said about the grant funding. “An impressive new skate park will increase the quality of life for residents of all ages while attracting new visitors to our community.”

If Medina is successful with the grant application, Feig said the Medina Skate Society will lead public meetings to see what features the community would like at the park.

The current skate park is 13,200 square feet, about twice the size of other skate parks in Western New York. Feig would like to see a skate park with a surface of 4,000 to 10,000 square feet. He would like public seating, new landscaping, and a stormwater management system in the new design.

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