Design meeting set for proposed skate
After receiving a $10,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation last year, Pitcher Park
Memorial Skatepark was counting on at least some state funding sources in the
But just as it became apparent that government grants were looking grim for
any projects, a call from the Tony Hawk Foundation (THF) has given Mary Pitcher
and the supporters of the Dormont skatepark a renewed sense of hope as the clock
ticks away because of a borough code mandating they have five years from April
5, 2010 to complete the project.
The Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark project idea was presented to Dormont
Council in October 2008, by Mary Pitcher, the mother of Vincent and Stephen
Pitcher, who tragically drowned on July 15, 2008 in Kinzua Reservoir. She
intended this to be a form of healing for everyone who knew them, by trying to
focus on something positive and to show community spirit in Dormont, a town full
of people her sons loved dearly.
Although at times facing local opposition, this mother of four sons has
remained steadfast in the quest to see this skatepark built in Dormont. It
didn't take long for many to see, feel, hear and then relate to exactly how
children and young adults who skateboard are perceived and feel discriminated
against by some adults.
The call from the Tony Hawk Foundation came only days after Pitcher Park
received word that the IRS had granted them a non-profit 501c3 status as well as
a 509a1 Public Charity status. They told Mary Pitcher that a man from Arizona,
by the name of Ken Schultz was interested in reaching out to the project
Upon contacting Schultz, Mrs. Pitcher learned he has Pittsburgh ties. He is formerly
from Bridgeville, both he and Mrs. Pitcher graduated from Chartiers Valley High
School, and he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, so he was familiar
He also informed Mrs. Pitcher that he attended a function held by Tony Hawk
where he discussed the Pitcher Park Skatepark project with long time,
pro-skateboarder and THF Board Member Mike Vallely who encouraged him to read
about the story.
After perusing the Pitcher Park website and speaking to Mrs. Pitcher, his
foundation recognized the efforts of this community project for the children by
donating $40,000 to cover the cost of the final design and construction drawings
to be completed by the company, Grindline Skateparks Inc. of Seattle who come
highly recommended by Tony Hawk, Thrasher Magazine, Concrete Disciples and more.
A design kickoff meeting with Grindline will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May
26 at Dormont Library. Pitcher Park is inviting anyone from Dormont, Pittsburgh
and the tri-state area, who skateboard, rollerblade or ride bikes that may use
the skatepark in the future to come and be introduced to Grindline and how the
community can take part in the design process so that they are a part of
developing a park they love.
Pitcher Park would like to build a skatepark that is good for beginners but
challenging and fun enough for experienced skateboarders.
Mike Vallely, or Mike V as he is more commonly known, has also agreed to
corroborate with Grindline in the design of the street portion of the
Because of the generosity of the Ken and Carol Schultz Foundation, once the
final construction drawings are complete Pitcher Park will have a more accurate
estimate of cost and know exactly what materials or labor they will seek as
in-kind donations from any local sources willing to donate for the skatepark
Once completed, The Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark will be the largest
concrete skatepark in the Pittsburgh area at approximately 15,000 square feet
and the only one in the area designed and built by a West Coast firm. Fittingly,
it will be placed on Banksville Road next to Dormont Pool.
Pitcher Park hopes to break the skatepark into sections or obstacles and
approach Pittsburgh main stay corporations to sponsor, name and even turn
company or team logos into skateable advertising objects.
The Mt. Lebanon UP Church has been supportive and Pitcher Park supporters
will be joining forces and working with them on July 10-17 during their "Mission
Possible IV" week, as they reach out into the community to help those in need
doing everything from yard/house clean ups to installing bathrooms and
Planning for a Pittsburgh Penguin Alumni game in the near future is in the
works for the park as well as an event at Legacy Lanes. An International Food
Fair and the Dormont Dungeon, a haunted house, which was successfully held last
year, will return as well.