The much-talked about skate and bike park to be built in Bryce Buchholz’s memory in Lancaster cleared a major hurdle Monday night after town leaders approved its conceptual design.
The proposal had stalled in recent months, as project costs were revised and increased, and other details were worked out. But the Town Board’s unanimous vote gave organizers hope. The park was to have been built this fall, but now is earmarked for spring, with an eight- to 10-week build period anticipated.
“I think today is a victory, not only for us, but for the Town of Lancaster,” said Bill Buchholz, Bryce’s father, who sat in the front row at the town meeting to hear the final action of the night by the board. “I’m looking forward to moving on.”
So far, the Bryce Buchholz Memorial Fund has raised $220,000 through community and business donations – and is still counting on receiving another $16,600 in capital grant funding from the state Dormitory Authority. In all, about $38,000 more must be raised to meet the $275,000 cost of the first phase of the park to be built in Keysa Park in the northeastern section of the village.
It has been Buchholz’s dream to have a skate and bike park built in Lancaster in memory of his 14-year-old son, who was killed by a drunken driver last year while riding home on his bike with a friend.
“We’re not going to mess with the design,” said Councilman Ronald Ruffino Sr., who sponsored the resolution. “I’m a big proponent of this. We’ve had issues with kids skateboarding outside Town Hall, and this will give them a great place to go, and with safety built into it.”
While town officials approved the concept of the park Monday, a formal contract still must be hammered out between the town and a skate park company from Southern California, which is expected to design and build the park. Initial plans call for it to be a 12,000-square-foot concrete park containing a series of stairs, walls and rails – which would appeal to skateboarders and stunt bike riders. A memorial garden in Bryce’s honor also is planned.
In another matter, the Town Board set a public hearing on the tentative 2014 budget at 7:15 p.m. Nov. 4 at Town Hall.