The expansion of the East St. Skate Park in Pittsfield, a project ten years in the making, is complete.
Originally constructed in 2011, the long-awaited Phase 2 of the project started construction in March of this year. In the early months of 2020, the Parks Department solicited the public's input on the next phase of design and construction of the skate park on the corner of Appleton Ave and East St.
After a 10 week build by Rampage Skatepark Equipment, the project finished on time and will officially reopen to the public this Saturday, May 29. The original design of Phase 2 was done with Los Angeles-based firm Spohn Ranch.
According to state record and the Pittsfield Skate Plaza Project Facebook page, Rampage Skatepark Equipment was the low bidder on the city's Phase 2 solicitation, with a bid of $247,000. Funding was pieced together through a mix of federal block grants and local capital spending.
Rampage, a skater-owned and operated company has been designing, engineering, constructing, and installing skatepark equipment since 1995. Rampage designs a full line of skatepark equipment - skateboard ramps, halfpipes, quarterpipes, grind rails, and more. They have installed parks all over the country.
To celebrate the grand opening of the park The Garden
, a skate, bike, and board shop in downtown Pittsfield, is hosting a Skate/BMX jam on Saturday, June 5 at 12 p.m. with contests throughout the day as well as live music and giveaways.
Parks, Open Space, and Natural Resource Manager for Pittsfield, Jim McGrath said Luke Kessler and Bill Whittaker of The Garden have played an integral role in the entire process.
We caught up with Whittaker who has been an advocate for the project since its inception, working alongside community members, city officials, and designers.
"It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve stayed persistent in making sure that the City of Pittsfield completed the project that was started nearly a decade ago when the skatepark was moved out of The Common.
This project is vital for Pittsfield and the growing community of skateboarders and bikers that use the park daily. It’s so important because this is the city’s only skate park, compared to the dozens of parks attributed to sports like baseball and basketball.
Safety was a concern with how small the park was before and the number of people using it. This new build allows people to be more spread out and use the new features without getting in each other‘s way nearly as often.
The new build has something for everyone, whether you’re a street skater or if you prefer transition-type features. We even made sure to keep a strip of the old tennis court surface going around the perimeter of the park, for uses with some of the ledge-type obstacles and flat ground games of S.K.A.T.E. (Think of the basketball game horse, but with flat ground tricks)."
Whittaker went on to thank McGrath, who he says has been helpful and adamant about getting this project done from the start. He also gave a shout-out to Spohn Ranch, the firm that designed Phase 2 of the project. Whittaker credits the company with taking the input gathered from the public comment periods and featuring it in the finished plans.
Lastly, he extended a huge thank you to Rampage for a quick and professional build. "They went above and beyond and even fixed problems with the old features. They even added a few surprises that really put this build over the top. We can’t wait to see this park in use and to see the talent that the future holds for Pittsfield because of this," Whittaker said.
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