Years of advocacy, fundraisers, grant applications and planning meetings finally paid off for the Reading Skatepark Association as construction officially started Thursday on a new skate park in Reading.
The skate park, located at the corner of South 6th and Canal Streets, is the vision of JD Turner, owner of Holistic Skate Shop in West Reading, who has spent the past ten years advocating for a new skater designed, free to use, concrete skatepark in the Berks County area.
“All those fundraisers we made with the Reading Skate Park Association in 2016, the spaghetti dinner nights, shredding festivals, everyone remembers everything that we’ve done and it’s all here now. It’s happening. So you know, we’re going to get a beautiful, amazing skate park” said Turner in front the crowd.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for attending all those meetings, all those fundraising events that we did. It takes a lot to change the world. It really does. But I think at the ground level, changing the community, that’s something that we can all do together. And that’s something that we did here today. I mean, it takes time, it takes going to meetings, it takes hard work. But this park is just one small thing making Reading a better place.”
The Reading Skatepark Association has been working with Grindline Skateparks for several years on the design of the park, gathering input from the community.
The first phase of the 22,000-square-foot project will include land development, stormwater controls, a parking lot, erosion, and sediment controls. The second phase of construction will install skateable stairs, bowls and rails. The project is estimated to be completed by summer 2024.
The $2.3 million dollar project is funded in part through a DCNR grant of $200K grant, DCED grant of $90K, funds supplemented through City ARPA of $200K, and $855K from CIP.