NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It's been difficult to keep the kids (and not a few adults) away from the attraction that is the new UNITY Skate Park.
The police have posted friendly reminders on Facebook to "refrain from using the Park at this time" during its three-month long construction. The contractors were staying on site until the concrete set up as a deterrent to teens who couldn't resist the appeal of that hard surface.
But the concrete's done, the grass is in, the fence is up and the park will open, officially, to the public this Saturday.
"It's going to be a really cool event," Mayor Richard Alcombright said on Tuesday. "WUPE Radio is going to be broadcasting live, we have a lot of sponsors, a lot of giveaways and we hope to see a lot of people."
The grand opening runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Noel Field Athletic Complex. The park is at the southwest end of the complex on State Street.
The event will feature professional BMX rider Jake Seeley, North County native, and raffle prizes from The Garden Skate & BMX shop of Pittsfield, VANS, and other sponsors.
The adjacent Hot Dog Ranch will run a special offer of two hot dogs or a hot dog and a Coke for a $1.
It's taken more than a decade to get to this grand opening. The effort began to coalesce around the UNITY (United, Neighboring, Interdependent, Trusted Youth) and its umbrella organization, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition around 2010. Surveys of local youth had found a strong desire for skate board park at a time when such facilities were were being considered in other towns.
UNITY teens petitioned the City Council for its endorsement and then years of work went into acquiring the funding and design components to make it happen.
The $676,000 professionally designed skate and BMX bike park was made possible through a Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities grant and matching funds from the city's 2016 Community Development Block Grant. The property on which it is located, the former Modern Liquors, was donated to the city for that purpose in 2015 by John "Jack" Wadsworth.
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