Plans for the Reading Skatepark are steadily moving forward! The public gathered for the second planning meeting in May at Canal Street Pub and Restaurant. The meeting showcased the new concept art for the park along with details on the design.
Representative of Grindline, skatepark developer based in Seattle, WA, Micah Shapiro gave a small presentation before taking questions and comments from the audience.
A lot has changed since the first public design meeting in October of 2017. The first being the location of the skatepark. The original plan was to build the park on Riverfront Drive across from Penske. Due to a large amount of underground utility lines on the property, the Reading Skatepark Association made the decision to move the purposed park. The new location is a vacant lot on Canal Street near South 6th.
The past 6 months the RSA and Grindline have reviewed hundreds of suggestions from the community. A few of the most popular items to be incorporated into the park will be railroad tracks, a tribute to Albert Boscov, and a Pagoda sunshade.
Shapiro presented the semi-final design, which includes 22,000 square feet of skateable space, bowls transitions, and an area for beginners. His goal is to design a destination park that will draw in people from neighboring city’s.
Out of the total space available on the lot, only one side is being used for the skatepark. during the community meeting several ideas were brought up on how to utilize the rest of the space. A few of them included basketball courts, a parking lot and bringing back the Reading Bike Hub’s Pump Track.
“It seemed like everybody was happy with the design. We have some minor tweaks in general we’ll keep pushing forward.” – Shapiro said.
So, what’s the future look like? Although there isn’t another public design meeting planned, Shapiro says the public is encouraged to continue to submit ideas. The next step is formalizing the concept for the city and raising funds.
We followed up with JD Turner, President of the Reading Skatepark Association and owner of Holistic Skateshop in West Reading after the meeting to get his take on the development process. “It was a good turnout, there were a bunch of avid skateboarders from different generations in the audience tonight. The more people involved the more feedback we can give back to Grineline.”