Mayor Richard Alcombright spoke with Stamford Elementary School pupils about a proposed skate park on Monday afternoon.
STAMFORD, Vt. — Nicholas Fahey's seventh- and eighth-grade class at Stamford Elementary School made their case for what would be the best skate park in North Adams to Mayor Richard Alcombright on Monday afternoon.
The nine pupils split into three groups to argue for three of the locations — Noel Field, Holden Street and Houghton Street in the Massachusetts city. They discussed various points, including safety, location, price and the Holden Street group even advocated for a green park.
"First it wouldn't cost as much, secondly it would provide a strong connection to the community, and finally, it would be safer than the other sites," said Alyssa Joly. "Out of the top three considerations, Houghton Street is by far the best choice."
The group said there wouldn't need to be much construction and overhead lights are already in use. They also said the park would improve connection for the community, since it already includes a playground and is close to downtown.
"It's location and existing use would just attract even more people if they see a skate/BMX park," Joly said.
The mayor agreed with the Houghton Street group, citing the same reasons and elaborating further on the possibility of collaborating with Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art across the street from the park.
"They're very optimistic about helping and making the property work," Alcombright said.
The Noel Field group explained the location made it the best candidate for a skate park, which makes it safer, very accessible to the community — especially the south side neighborhoods — and would be located very close to the Hot Dog Ranch. The group, consisting of Aimee Dowling, Lorenzo Cristofolini and Brandon Condon, noted that the police and fire stations are about half a mile away and the hospital is about a mile away.
The group advocating the Holden Street skate park stressed its large area, a safe location also not far from the police station. In addition, they pushed for a green park with many trees and greenery.
After the presentation, two-thirds of the class voted that it liked the Houghton Street park as the best spot.
The mayor told the students he's expecting the project to be completed in three years in different phases, explaining the city needs to acquire community development block grants, fully design the park and then construct it.
Fahey's class worked on the project throughout the last three weeks. Their project included a PowerPoint presentation with 3D renderings and a brochure.
"They did a great job," Fahey said. "They pulled it together."
Fahey explained that the city's project was chosen because it fit the curriculum well and that his students will eventually attend Drury High School and McCann Technical School in North Adams.
Alcombright also said he would like the students to eventually present their projects to the city.