SWCP skate park moves forward

May 11, 2012
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Young organizers are moving ahead with reclaiming a disused area of the Southwest Corridor Park (SWCP) by transforming it into a skate park.

The organizers have presented a proposal to the SWCP Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC), along with a model of the proposed changes to the area just south of Minton Street. PMAC will now write a letter of support of the project to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, PMAC President Janet Hunkel said.

The organizers, led by Brian Leff, also received supportive funds from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), where Leff is a student.

Leff started a student organization at MassArt, Wheels of Steel, to fund and organize support for the skate park. MassArt has provided Wheels of Steel with $1,155 so far, some of which has already been invested in building supplies.

“Wheels of Steel plans on spending all of the money” on a cement mixer, cement, rebar, steel pipe and food and safety equipment for kids, Leffe said. “It will all become a part of the park, [assuming] we get full permission to build.”

Currently, skaters use temporary ramps and other elements that are stored in a nearby DCR shed. If DCR gives permission, Leffe and other supporters of the skate park will add permanent cement elements like ramps and domes.

“PMAC supports the use of the space as a temporary park with cement objects possibly coming later in the summer,” Leffe said.

Leffe and other organizers also collected over 500 signatures in support of the park around the neighborhood, Hunckle said.

In its first life, this bit of the park was meant to be a half-sized roller hockey rink. As kids lost interest, dog owners took it over as a fenced-in dog run. Currently, skaters

A skate park usually includes ramps, half-pipes, domes and other skating obstacles of varying heights and difficulties.

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