PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — A grassroots group is making moves in Pontiac to build a new skatepark, and according to the mayor, the city is hopeful the efforts pay off.
Last year the Tony Hawk Foundation, along with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, announced a drive to grow skateparks across a targeted area in New York and Michigan — Pontiac is now hoping they can get $250,000 to kickstart a program that would bring a new skatepark to the area.
“Skateboarding has been a staple in my life for 18 years," said Brandon Ash, one of the founders of the citizen-led skatepark group.
Michael Pena said the initial plan was to rebuild the skatepark at the Oakland Park — a small park across the street from the GM plant on Montcalm –but he noted that they’re considering a number of locations dependent on how the city responds. The current park consists of two pre-fabricated ramps that are aging andthe rest of the park is split with tennis courts.
Pena and his group are hoping that they can get a custom built park that would get more kids interested in playing outdoors and give them the chance to skate like they did as kids.
According to the mayor, there’s excitement behind the campaign. She noted that if they can get the Tony Hawk name behind the push, it’d increase the likelihood that the park becomes a reality.
“We applaud their efforts to excite public interest in bringing an urban skatepark to Pontiac,” said Deirdre Waterman. “A thrilling, modern skatepark would add an exciting dimension to the expanded youth recreation programs we've launched here this year.”
The Pontiac Skatepark Project has scheduled its next community meeting for Friday, February 22. The public is welcome to attend from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Alley Cat Cafe in downtown Pontiac. Pena said they’ll discuss the history of the project, volunteering and the next steps for the organization.