New skatepark design unveiled

By on April 10, 2019

They’ve got the plans. Now all they need is the money.

Organizers for the new and improved Lititz Skatepark have been working with 5th Pocket Skateparks to develop a “dream” skatepark to replace the worn out skatepark with metal ramps.
Last week, the new plans were released and skateboarders will be happy to hear that the new design features plenty of hips, quarter pipes, pump bumps and ledges. The design combines a concrete manual pad with brick-like walls that fit in with the character of Lititz.

The new design was developed through several meetings with Lancaster County Skateboard Association, 5th Pocket Skateparks, and area skateboard enthusiasts, held at the Lititz recCenter. These were mainly input sessions, where skateboarders got to put together a wish list of everything they wanted in a new skatepark.

Then 5th Pocket Skateparks designer Jesse Clayton and his team came up with the final plan that combines many of the features requested and allowances for the land, which is near the Lititz recCenter and Lititz Springs Pool.

The new design was developed through several meetings with Lancaster County Skateboard Association, 5th Pocket Skateparks, and area skateboard enthusiasts, held at the Lititz recCenter.

“We are very excited to have this design, and now we can really get working on raising the funds for the Lititz Skatepark,” says Rob Reed, a volunteer with the Lancaster County Skatepark Association, who is spearheading the ambitious plan to update the old skatepark.

As it turns out, the new dream design is expected to cost $400,000 or more. So far, fundraising efforts have yielded about $16,000 toward the skatepark. That means that organizers will need to raise another $384,000 for the skatepark.

According to Reed, organizers want to get closer to their goal before they send the project out for final bid. In the meantime, they will be working on extensive fundraising, applying for recreational grants and looking for any other funding options.

“We realize we have a long way to go, but it’s definitely worth it to have a skatepark like this in Lititz,” says Reed.

Lititz Borough Planning Elijah Yearick agrees that the skatepark will be a great asset to the borough, providing another recreational activity for skateboarders of all ages. As he points out, they are not all in middle school or high school. Many are employed at Rock Lititz, and some had attended the skatepark planning meetings over the past year. Since the skatepark is located on Lititz Borough property, the borough will remain involved with the redevelopment of the skatepark. Right now, though, most of the funding for recreation in the borough is going toward the renovation and redesign of Lititz Springs Pool.

The pool, after all, is used by many more people, including families, children, seniors and swim team members. So Lititz Borough needs to make the pool a priority for the time being.

“Many of the traditional funding streams such as DCNR Bureau of Recreation & Conservation funding are currently committed to the pool, so we are doubtful we’d be able to achieve another grant with the pool project just starting,” says Yearick, adding that they had previously applied for a skatepark-specific grant with the help of the association, but unfortunately did not get that grant.

Yearick notes that Lititz Borough is open to applying for more grants with the skatepark association, and thinks that having construction documents will assist with future applications. The borough also intends to continue with maintenance, insurance coverage and summer monitoring through the Warwick Regional Recreation Commission.

“The Lancaster Skatepark Association is passionate about this project and was eager to take the lead on the redesign of the site as well as the fundraising,” says Yearick. “We appreciate their enthusiasm and the desire for a grassroots organization to take stewardship over the redevelopment of a cherished asset.”

The design combines a concrete manual pad with brick-like walls that fit in with the character of Lititz.

The skatepark got started more than 15 years ago. Back then, business owners and retailers in the borough complained about skateboards doing tricks all over town and in Lititz Springs Park.

Kerry Nye, now Lititz Borough Police Chief encourage the borough to plan a designated skatepark that would keep skateboarders in their own area. The first skatepark was set up at Lititz waterworks, and later moved nearby. There are signs at the park, reminding skateboarders that they must follow safety regulations, and wear helmets and protective gear. As far as he knows, there have not been any liability claims and the skateboarders are typically respectful when the police stop by to check on things.

“It’s clear that Lititz needs a new design,” says Nye. “The skatepark is in poor condition. It needs to be improved.”
Reed has been happy about the outstanding cooperation with the borough and other entities involved in the skatepark. He has been working closely with Yearick from the borough, Clayton from

5th Pocket Skateparks and Josh Sabo from Tait Towers, a volunteer who has been involved in the project since its start. Reed and a handful of volunteers from the Lancaster County Skatepark Association made a brief presentation to the Lititz Borough Council in June 2017 on the state of the existing Lititz Skatepark. The LCSA proposed replacing the old metal ramps with a custom-designed poured-in-place concrete skatepark that would be more durable, safe, creative, and fun.

Then in January 2018, the skateboarding community was invited for a brainstorming at the Lititz recCenter to come up with ideas for the skatepark. That meeting was attended by some 50 local skateboarders, who were enthusiastic about sharing their thoughts with designers. A second meeting was held in May 2018 to fine-tune the concepts and get input on what skateboarders liked and didn’t like.

Fundraising began in earnest in May 2018 with a fundraiser at The Toy Soldier in Lititz, along with several other fundraising events held by LCSA. Meanwhile, designers at 5th Pocket came up with a compilation of the dream skatepark they were targeting for Lititz. They presented the final design to the Lititz Parks Committee for approval to move forward with production of construction documents and proceed with fundraising this past March. Now that the design is set in concrete, so to speak, organizers hope to get more skateboarders involved in fundraising efforts.

“We received a lot of public input and frankly, I’m thrilled with how this design turned out. We went through a lot of iterations, and we had some significant restrictions working within the existing footprint of the site,” says Reed. “We ended up with something one-of-a-kind, incredibly creative, and designed specifically to accommodate as many concurrent users as possible. 5th Pocket did an outstanding job gathering input from the community and incorporating it into their design.”

Construction costs are estimated at between $400,000 and $500,000. Construction documents are being produced by 5th Pocket now, but they won’t be putting the project out to bid until they have raised a significant amount of the funds. To date the $16,000 has been raised through a grant from the LCSA, a partial in-kind donation of design work from 5th Pocket, local fundraisers, and a significant gift made anonymously.

Tax deductible donations can be made through the fund at the Community Foundation at https://www.lancfound.org/fund/lancaster-county-skatepark-fund/. Community members interested in discussing a more significant gift or a gift of construction materials, which would be crucial to reducing the projected cost, can contact LCSA at lancasterskateparks@gmail.com or through the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lancasterskateparks/.

“In the coming weeks we’ll be announcing more fundraisers toward this project,” says Reed, adding that the next event will be hosting a pop-up skatepark at Open Streets in Lancaster City on Sunday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, on South Water Street next to Culliton Park.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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