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Friday, May 1st, 2009
By William Kincaid
$10,000 grant rolls in from Tony Hawk Foundation
  Efforts to establish a skateboard park in Celina were boosted late last week with a $10,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation.
The announcement of the grant was made by Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan at the city council meeting earlier this week.
A proposal submitted by the city engineering department was accepted by the foundation, Celina Safety Service Director Jeff Hazel said, who added that a municipality-backed proposal carries more weight.
"So far we've done a lot of things internally," Hazel said.
The city applied for $25,000 but was awarded $10,000.
Hazel said the city has not yet received all of the specifications of the money's use, but said the grant does not require matching dollars.
Coupled with around $18,000 secured by a group of local skateboarders supervised by Celina Middle School teacher Keith Gudorf, a total of $28,000 in financing is now available.
But no additional details about the future of the skate park were revealed.
Gudorf said he just found out about the grant last week.
"I haven't really made a big announcement about it yet."
According to its Web site, the Tony Hawk Foundation considers park projects that include local skaters in the design process; demonstrate a strong grassroots commitment; have a creative mix of obstacles; don't require skaters or their parents to sign waivers; don't charge a fee; and are open 365 days a year, among other provisions.
The organization provides grants between $1,000 and $25,000.
In January, city officials learned a plan to build a $50,000 skateboard park in Celina may be upgraded to a $250,000 concrete park along Lake Shore Drive.
After holding meetings with Gudorf and area teens, Bryan learned the kids were worried about the quality of pre-manufactured fixtures. So, he had the city engineering department create a drawing of a concrete park at an estimated cost of $250,000.
But this grand vision is not possible without a significant grant or the contributions of a benefactor, Bryan has said. If the park comes to fruition, it would probably be built in five phases, he said.
He added the kids want what Kettering has - a 40,000-square-foot concrete, street-skating plaza with urban terrain elements such as benches, rails and ledges.
The Kettering park cost between $600,000 and $1.2 million, according to Bryan.
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