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Sun., Apr. 20
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Potsdam teen hopes to build village skate park

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POTSDAM — A 13-year-old has taken it upon himself to get skateboarders off the street by leading an effort to build them a park where they could practice and play.

Seventh-grader Jack L. Brady — son of Potsdam Central Schools superintendent and former town Supervisor Patrick H. Brady — is working to have a skate park constructed in the village.

Skaters who ride on village streets and sidewalks are chastised by police and business owners. He said he understands the concerns of those who don’t want skaters on the streets, but he said most ride on the road because they have nowhere else to enjoy the sport.

“We’re just trying to do what we love, we’re not trying to harass anyone,” he said. “We have nowhere to skate in Potsdam except the street.”

Instead of simply wishing for things to change, the teen decided to try to make it happen himself. He researched what it would take to make a skate park, looked into grants and went to the people in charge to propose his idea.

He has already pitched the plan to the village and town, getting a positive but noncommittal response from the former, and the official blessing of the latter.

If he can find funding, town board members told him they will support his effort to build a skate park.

It would take about $32,000 to build a modest skate park, complete with ramps and rails. It would likely be built in Sandstoner Park, near Pine Street Arena.

The young man has been working with village Planning and Development Director Frederick J. Hanss to pursue funding sources and determine the feasibility of the park. He also is working on plans to have fund raisers for the project, which he said he would like to have built by summer.

“We’re trying to get together and write some grants,” he said.

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