‘Grind the flow, bro…’Village Skate Park now open

Ortonville – With wrench in hand Ortonville parent Larry Hayden twists one of the more than 6,000 bolts used to connect the 20 tons of steel frames, rails and ramps.
‘I’m here because I think this is a great idea to have a place like this for the kids, in order for them not to disturb the community,? said Hayden.
‘My son Logan is motivating me, he will be here all the time, when he’s not in the gym.?
Hayden was one of about 35 volunteers who gathered on Saturday, May 9, at the Village Skate Park to build the park.
After almost two years of debate over park location, and community fund-raising of more than $40,000 Phase I of the potentially three phase park was delivered and assembled by volunteers. The park is located at the corner of Ball and Cedar streets, in downtown Ortonville.
Fred Waybrant, Director of Brandon, Groveland, Ortonville Recreation, coordinated the project.
Shortly after the landscape was mapped out and put in place, the cement pad of the village skate park was poured in the fall of 2002. Since then, Waybrant has been soliciting funds and volunteer in-kind labor to complete the landscape sound buffer. With a delivery date of winter, James Lumber of Ortonville stored the equipment until the park could be completed.
Once the equipment was delivered to the park, Waybrant hoped it would take only six hours to assemble the rails, however, on Saturday it took more than 14 hours, because fewer volunteers showed up than expected.
‘I’m not sure where everybody was, but we had a lot less people than I would have liked,? said Waybrant.
Under the direction of Michigan Skate Parks Representatives Jim and Connie Kennedy, parents, Township Supervisor Ron Lapp, Village Manager Paul Zelenak, and business owners showed up to bolt tons of equipment into shape.
‘It is foolproof construction and a money saver to the community because it can be done with volunteers,? said Connie Kennedy.
Kennedy said the architecture of the modest park was designed to perfectly meet the flexible expansion planned for Phase II of the project.
‘An important part of the design is called flow,? said Kennedy.
The geometric flow pattern was configured and patterned by Woodward Camp, which is a leading designer with more than 30 years in the skate park design industry.
Because Waybrant, the village and township officials received opposition to possible park noise in the adjacent residential area, Huna equipment was designed with multilayered sound deadening materials and an acoustical underlayer was used.
‘So the neighbors don’t feel like they are living next to kettle drums,? said Kennedy.
‘This is what kids are doing nowadays.?
‘In any area where there are wheel chair ramps you have a skate park.?
‘They’re going to grind on something, it may as well be something designed for it,? Kennedy said.
Although a skate park grand opening is not scheduled until later this summer, by Sunday morning area children were crowding the park to ride the long awaited rails.
The BGO will schedule an instructional camp for Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. with semi-pro skateboarder Adam Murphy.
A skate festival with live bands and vendors is being planned for Aug. 9.