Over the last several weeks, there has been a subject that This is in reference to the skate board park to be built on the northeast portion of the Lincoln Junior High School property.
First, I want to provide some background information. An intergovernmental agreement between the Village, Skokie School District 69, and the Skokie Park District, will have the park district oversee and supervise construction of the project and, pay the school district a nominal rent fee. Funding for the majority of the project will come from the village’s downtown TIF fund (How TIF funding works - via village website).
However, the park district will need to contribute additional funding. This is to assure that participants will have a safe and high quality facility, a hallmark tradition of the
One of the discussion points has centered on why does Skokie even need a skateboard park? The truth is, this has been an in-demand project in the community for many years, with groups consisting of both adults and young adults, from different parts of Skokie, approaching the park district. This project, while being adjacent to the downtown district, will benefit the entire community, not just a few in District 69, much the same as any other facility in the Skokie Park District. Being adjacent to downtown also has the benefit of easy access to patrons, and has the potential to benefit the many merchants in the area by bringing more people, adults included, to the downtown area.
Safety has been a stated concern regarding this project, both from an injury and community standpoint. As has been stated by many, if your community does not have a skate park, the community can become the skate park. Very often I have seen young adults skating in a number of plaza areas around the community, particularly downtown, none of which are intended for this purpose. By providing a skateboard park, it will give residents of all ages a proper place to practice their sport, and get exercise. No, this facility will not be supervised, but there will be appropriate signage posted regarding safety guidelines. The liability actually increases when there is on-site supervision. And for those with community safety concerns, yes this will be a public park, just like all the other park district facilities. Please do not assume that the participants who would potentially use this park are most likely going to cause trouble.
This is in the planning stage at this point. Physical requirements for the facility are currently being examined, reviewed and discussed. For those residents who are concerned that their opinion has not been heard, be assured there will be a public hearing regarding this project, as this is standard procedure for the park district. In addition, this will require the approval of the board members of all the entities. Once completed, we look forward to another successful facility for the community to enjoy for generations.
President, Skokie Park District Board of Commissioners