June 29, 2013

Skateboard park design chosen

By KIM SMITH DEDAM Press-Republican

---- — SARANAC LAKE — The final design for the new skateboard park here has been chosen.

It is Concept B, one of three submitted by Pillar Designs founder Brad Siedlecki, who met with local kids and the SkatePark Committee to review the site last week.

“He should have the design to us (on paper) in about two weeks,” SkatePark Committee spokesman Rich Shapiro said this week.

“We met with the village this morning to hammer out the details of the Memorandum of Understanding.”


The SkatePark will be built in a parking lot area being called the Midtown Lot, which is between Church Street and Broadway near the River Walk along the Saranac River.

The site design allows for continued parking space.

Aspects of the joint memorandum outline maintenance agreements and village in-kind services, Shapiro said.

Altogether, the village portion of the project is valued at close to $40,000, with help in grading the lot, adding gravel and landscaping.


Funds raised independently by the SkatePark Committee will support the actual design and construction.

“We’re paying everything after that, between $100,000 to $125,000 worth of construction,” Shapiro said.

The committee is continuing to raise funds and seeking grants.

It had raised more than $70,000 by early spring.

And as plans approach final design phase, support has been growing.

“The flow has definitely increased,” Shapiro said. “We are planning to have plaques for major donors. We haven’t really broached the subject with the village yet as to what we could do with naming the park.”


As illustrated in the design sketch, the back portion of the L in the park is a wrapped quarter-pipe feature.

The final design was selected with input from skateboard enthusiasts in Saranac Lake.

“We got input from about 25 kids. Concepts B and C were the more popular. Then the kids suggested some changes that were feasible, so Brad is taking the ideas back and toying with it,” Shapiro said of the selection process.

The entire 5,200-square-foot park is wrapped in a 15-foot greenspace buffer built up on 2 feet of gravel and earth.

It adjoins two rows of parking along the River Walk pathway through the village.


The Saranac River did not flood the skatepark area in the massive snowmelt/rain event of spring 2011, Shapiro said.

“The main issue is going to have to address drainage coming from the other side.”

With the final design due on paper in two weeks, the committee will then look to Saranac Lake’s Department of Public Works to schedule prep work at the site.

The exact timeline for construction is still somewhat in flux.

“We are awaiting the final cost estimate from the designer,” Shapiro said.

“And word from the village (about) if they can be done by Aug. 12 in order to have the concrete poured by the second week in October. We won’t know for another three weeks or so where all these things land.”


Meantime, Shapiro said the committee is still seeking in-kind donations for construction materials, such as pipe, rebar, concrete, drainage pipe and wood for building forms.

“These are materials we would love to have donated or offered at a reduced price,” he said.

“It takes a village to raise a skate park. And it’s happening. A lot more people are starting to help out, because it’s something real now.”

The SkateBoard Park in Saranac Lake has been a project in active planning stages for more than 15 years.

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The Saranac Lake Skatepark has established a website at: There is also a new Facebook page with updates on design/build progress at: Rich Shapiro can be reached by phone at Gear-To-Go Tandems: 891-1869.