Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian is optimistic the city’s skate park, mysteriously demolished on Wednesday, can be rebuilt for the summer. Mayor Guardian met earlier on Thursday with Jason Klotz, one of the original architects of the informal park known as Back Sov, to talk about how the project can be rebuilt to code.
The park, which had been used by skaters from in and around the city, was assembled over the course of a few years on an old street hockey rink on Sovereign Avenue, overlooking the bay.
Klotz and his colleagues will attend the city’s planning board meeting next week to present their plans for the new park, Mayor Guardian said. The Mayor was impressed that Klotz already had funding and volunteers organized to do the work. (Klotz had raised more than $3,500 on Go Fund Me earlier this month for an addition to the park, before it was razed. Now that money will be put toward rebuilding the park, he told followers on Instagram).
Mayor Guardian said that usually money is the hurdle to developing something like a skate park in a city like Atlantic City (which was taken over by the state last year, because of its precarious financial situation). “Should the planning committee approve the project, Jason is trying to shoot for construction in May or June,” the Mayor said. Most of the work can be done with a volunteer workforce but the city might be able to lend a hand for jobs such as pouring concrete, the Mayor added. The city could also help by removing a batting cage that was left in the middle of the skate park site, he added.
“Let’s build a much better park and let’s do it so it is going to last 20 years,” the Mayor said. The park is important because kids love to skate and it gives them something to do, he added.
It is still unclear who is responsible for demolishing the park. You can follow developments on the park on Instagram @backsov. You can read Klotz’s account of his meeting with the Mayor below:
Today I met with the Mayor and we are working together to make @backsov a permanent and legal skate plaza. We are aiming for end of May to start building. We have to get city council to approve it which they will because they have already voiced there support and then we have to get the park insured. We WILL make this happen. He is down to earth and realizes that skateboarding saves lives. Thanks to everyone in the community and world wide who have reached out to support the movement. I will not rest on this issue until we are skating at the park again so do not loose faith you have a real skateboarder pushing for a real park. @j_r_clayton has confirmed that the end of May is when he can start volunteering on the build. The park being torn down yesterday was a curse and a blessing because now although we have nowhere to skate, legally everything is being sped up to get us a new plaza ASAP since the state shut us down. The city feels bad and cares and that’s what matters.. #atlanticcity #skateAC #acNJ #doAC #community #giveback #Love #mentor #volunteer #grassroots
Also, thanks to Scan AtlanticCity for bringing this piece of awesomeness to our attention: