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Skate park finds its wheels. Summer opening expected

David Orazietti got on board in a big way today. The Sault MPP presented Travis McCormack, president of the the Superior Community Skate Park Association (SCSA), with a cheque for $75,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

David Orazietti got on board in a big way today.

The Sault MPP presented Travis McCormack, president of the the Superior Community Skate Park Association (SCSA), with a cheque for $75,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

"It's just great news all around because this is the final piece to actually get concrete in the ground for Phase 1 of the project," McCormack said.

McCormack told reporters today that the association hopes to be skating later this summer on the first phase of the new skate park to at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

"We're working on finding alternatives to use this summer while Phase 1 is under construction," said McCormack after the funding announcement at the Civic Centre.

A temporary skatepark was installed four years ago, but was only intended to last one year.

It's in no condition to be installed again this year.

McCormack's association still has a little further to go to meet its fundraising goals.

"We're looking to raise about $38,000 more in material donations and we're hoping some community leaders will come forward with those," he said. "We need concrete, rebar and wood for the forms as well as a concrete pump and a small Bobcat."

The association also wants to get the second part of the two-phase park going as soon as possible and will be starting its fundraising in earnest now.

The first of two planned fundraising events - a battle of the bands - will take place on April 26 at Algoma University College.

Later in the summer, the university will also be hosting a summer skateboard jam.

Here's today's announcement from David Orazietti:

************************* Orazietti announces $75,000 for new skateboard park in Sault Ste. Marie

McGuinty Government Encouraging Local Youth to Adopt Healthy and Active Lifestyles

Sault Ste. Marie – The McGuinty Government, through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, has provided The City of Sault Ste. Marie and The Superior Community Skate Park Association (SCSA) with $75,000 to construct a new skateboard park David Orazietti, MPP announced today.

"Today's investment will help the City and the Superior Community Skate Park Association realize their goal of building a safe and accessible skate park in Sault Ste. Marie," said Orazietti. "The skate park will provide a central location for skateboarders and inline skaters to pursue their sport and encourage youth involvement in our community."

Over the next 12 months the City of Sault Ste. Marie, in collaboration with the SCSA, will construct a concrete skate park at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Complex.

This complex already hosts many sports and recreation facilities making it an ideal location for the new skateboard park.

"The City is very appreciative of the support received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation," said City of Sault Ste. Marie Supervisor of Community Services Lori Ballstadt. "This capital contribution has enabled the skatepark project to proceed. This new facility will not only provide a venue for community youth but will improve Sault Ste. Marie's image as a vibrant recreational community in Northern Ontario."

The Superior Community Skate Park Association is a non-profit community group that works on behalf of skateboarders in Sault Ste. Marie.

Since it was created in 2003, it has been working hard to establish a community skate park to provide a safe and accessible location for skateboard and inline skating enthusiasts.

The SCSA reaches out to the community and has provided skateboard clinics for children aged 9 to 15, teaching proper skating techniques, safety precautions and encouraging our youth to be physically active.

Other McGuinty government initiatives to help encourage active living in Sault Ste. Marie include:

- $4.7 million Steelback Centre

- $1 million Boardwalk expansion

- $450,000 Hub Trail construction

- $435,000 Community Use of Schools

- $187,000 soccer facility upgrade

- $79,000 Sault Ste. Marie Sports Council

- $75,000 Soo Curlers Association

- $69,600 Soo Finnish Ski Club

- $40,000 Sault Ste. Marie Gymnastics Club

- $60,547 YMCA

- $20,000 Algoma University College & YMCA

- $14,100 Sault Trails and Recreation Inc.

- $13,496 Voyageur Trail Association

- $9,200 Therapeutic Ride Algoma

- $8,513 Sault Sabercats Football Club

- $8,760 Soo Minor Baseball

- $4,427 Sault Ste. Marie Boxing Club *************************