The Crellin Park Renovation Project
The Crellin Park Foundation, Inc. in conjunction with the Town of Chatham is fundraising to build a concrete skate park and a new community building for community use at Crellin Community Park on Rt. 66 in Chatham. Fundraising for this project has been underway for six years, with grants received so far from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, the Hudson River Bank and Trust Foundation, the T. Backer Fund and numerous private donors. Recently, the Foundation applied for and received a grant for the skate park from The Tony Hawk Foundation in the amount of $5,000.
Based on surveys sent out to residents of the Town of Chatham, a skate park was near the top of the list of needs for recreation for youth in this area. Most of the youth who skate in Chatham travel many miles to find skate parks. According to Shari Franks, Town of Chatham Recreation Director, “The Town has realized for a long time that we need a safe place for our residents, particularly our youth, to skate within. We are very thankful to the organizations who have donated to the cause.”
With the help of Barton & Loguidice, P.C., the Town of Chatham created a master plan for Crellin Park during the time that the Chatham Comprehensive Plan was in the process of development. The skate park is only a portion of the first phase to the Crellin Park Master Plan. Other items to be addressed in the first phase include a new and improved life-safety building and pavilion near the pond, reconstruction of the main soccer field, a water filtration system for the swimming pond, an expanded beach area and improved walkways entering into the park.
Skate Park & Pavilion and Community/Life Safety Building
The first phase of the concrete skate park will be approximately 5100 square feet and will include a street plaza design along with a bowl/pool to appease skaters with a range of abilities. The design and construction of the park will go out to bid to a variety of skate park building companies. The skate park committee, made up of local youth and adults, will then make recommendations to the Town Board.
The Town of Chatham has been working on skate park plans for four years, involving skateboarders of all ages in the planning and fundraising process. The hope is to provide a state-of-the-art facility for boarders, who often skateboard down the streets of Chatham.
But skateboard parks are expensive, and the current state of the economy hasn’t made raising money any easier. The Town of Chatham has applied for EPF funds for three years only to be overlooked for other projects around the state. Demographics play a key roll to state and federal funding and because the Town isn’t an oppressed community or inner city community, we find it difficult to qualify for certain grant opportunities.
Another goal the town recently added to the mix is raising money to construct a new community building to replace the old pavilion and building near the pond at Crellin Park. The pavilion is more than 20 years old and badly in need of repairs to the leaky roof, cracked pavement and ancient restrooms, among other items. The building would contain a community room, snack bar, an office and storage rooms and would be constructed using “green” building techniques.
“We’re trying to do both projects so we can provide more recreational opportunities for all our residents,” explained Shari Franks, Recreation Director for the Town of Chatham. “While the skate park appeals to a particular constituency, a new community building would benefit everyone including our large number of senior citizens living here. There are currently three senior housing facilities in the Village of Chatham, but not a handicapped accessible community center for seniors to gather for events and other social activities.”
The proposal is to construct a building with 1,100 square feet of enclosed space and 1,200 feet of outdoor (pavilion) space under one roof. The building would house a concession stand, ADA compliant restrooms, meeting room and storage and be fully accessible. The plan is to have the facility green energy designed and sustainable by using recycled materials, energy saving windows and solar power.
The other challenge that the Town hopes to help support is the proposed transportation system that is greatly needed, especially to transport our seniors and youth to Crellin Park for activities. Without a viable transportation system here, it is difficult for youth and adults to access certain parts of the community.
More than $100,000 has been raised for both the skate park and community use building projects, all through the fundraising efforts of the Crellin Park Foundation, Inc, via grants and private donations. The project goal for the skate park is $150,000 and for the building is $260,000. To make a tax deductible donation to either project, please send a check to The Crellin Park Foundation, Inc., 488 Rt. 295, Chatham, NY 12037. Thank you.