Skatepark Designers Hold Public Input Meeting |

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The final meeting for public input on the concrete skate park design at Outwater Park is scheduled for Thursday, November 3 at 5:00 p.m. at City Hall.

This will be the final public meeting regarding the elements of the skate park and will include renderings of what it will look like when fully built. Most importantly, it gives the public a chance to critique the design and add design features that they may be missing.

The design and construction of the Railyard Skatepark is being undertaken by Grindline, a Seattle-based concrete skatepark design and construction company. At its last meeting on August 2, 2022, skateboarders old and new alike came out with suggestions like a spine transfer ramp, a roll-in on a bowl, and more tracks to “cruise” in the park’s design.

Veteran skater Rich Hoose also requested a flat space in the middle of the skatepark where a band could play while skaters, BMX bikers, scooters, and skates use the park.

When we first met, Hoose was very excited about the park and what it would do for the community.

“You’re going to form bonds that you’re going to have for the rest of your life,” Hoose said. “People we met while skating, even as old men, that we still spend a lot of time with.”

Other tweaks to the design included a homage to the Flight of Five canal locks that gave Lockport its name.

“The flight is cool,” says Owen Szantor, a newcomer to the sport. “(I’d like it) if we could build that in.”

According to City Engineer Steve Pump, construction is expected to begin in the spring, but demolition of the existing wooden skate park is likely to occur before then.

He expressed enthusiasm for Thursday’s meeting.

“We can see the renders and get final public posts,” Pump said Monday.

Funding for the new skate park was made possible by a $250,000 grant from The Skatepark Project. Through donations, including the Grigg Lewis Foundation, which donated $125,000, the John R. Oishei Fund, which donated $28,000, and the City of Lockport, which donated $22,000 towards the project and signage in the city , the project took shape since the Covid pandemic.

Recently, the Niagara River Greenway Commission denied the project a funding recommendation because the project was “inconsistent” with its mission, said Greg Stevens, chair of the group. John Craig, the lead organizer of the project, will present these funds, totaling $30,000, to the Niagara County Host Community Standing Committee before Thanksgiving but after the public meeting.

“We’re pretty confident,” Craig said, noting that the project had support from the county legislature.

“They’re pretty happy with the project,” he said.

Mayor Michelle Roman said she doesn’t think there will be problems securing funding. As one of the early proponents of the new skate park, which dates back to her own choice, Roman said, “I’m excited to finally bring it to life.”

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