Hello, My name is Matt Troetti and I own a local skateshop on Oak Island, across from Oak Island Hardware. We generally close at 7pm but I closed early today to be here. We specialize in the sale of Skateboards, Paddleboards, and Apparel. I want to first and foremost thank everyone for showing up today, in support of our local skate park or otherwise. This is a challenging time for many and the most important part is showing up. Being involved with this community I’ve noticed how vital this park is to our youth, our parents, and the children. Over the years it has become a staple of our island and a resounding destination for many in the surrounding area, providing both a source of productive activity, and bringing revenue to Oak Island.
As an early Christmas present through the support of our youth, by petition, and our great counsel, and by a little push on our part we were able to make the park open to the public for free for the first time in 20 years. Perfect timing as skateboarding has become more popular now than it ever has in the history of the sport, coming to this next year's Olympics for the first time since its advent.
This was an amazing blessing, the community was incredibly grateful and more people were using and enjoying the park than ever before. Just recently, though postponed due to covid regulations we had our 2nd annual skate tournament through a collaboration with the town. Sure there were some worn down spots, divots, dents, and some ramps that have seen better days, but people loved this park, it was our park. Young and old, and people from all walks of life found enjoyment with it. Skateboarding is a sport that brings people together not much like anything else.
As you can understand it’s been a major loss and many of us miss it dearly. Our older residents loved to frequent the park watching at the provided bleachers at various events we’ve had or stopped by to look through the fence while out on a walk. Oak Island doesn’t quite feel the same or whole without this community landmark.
From the direction of the town attorney, and due to liability, only concrete parks are allowed moving forward. Evaluating costs and size, neighborhood skateparks range from 8-12,000 sq ft. ranging from $360,000 to $540,000. This cost typically includes site prep, and minor amenities outside of the park itself. These figures are provided by a company called Team Pain that specializes in building concrete parks across the country. A special type of concrete needs to be used along with an engineering aspect, and a blend with the community, and surrounding structure, i.e bleachers, water fountains, bathrooms, parts shack for helmets, tools, skateboard accessories, and etc.
We plan to raise as much funds as possible within a 6 month period of time bringing us to April 2021 through our own initiative, through the overwhelming support we have seen in our local community, any insurance funds provided from the loss, fema funds, through a general fund from the town, another separate fund created by the town for donations, and a gofundme from personal donations for those that simply wish to donate digitally. At the 6 month mark we plan to evaluate how much we have raised and then begin to reach out to foundations in support of local skateparks like the Birdhouse foundation and also see everything we can do to keep costs down as much as possible.
We originally planned to host a kickball tournament and to charge $100 a team, and have each team also compete to raise the most money, but due to the uncertainty of Covid-19 and cdc guidelines and regulations we have created a new plan of action. We will be introducing 2 new skate decks, beach themed, that can be used as a piece of art and a cool wall hanger in your home that we will sell to raise funds.
The industry term is shop decks. Over the summer, Pescado y Amor and our company Never Ever Boards hosted a deck and design contest you may have heard about. We had over 40 local participants, narrowed it down to 4 finalists through the help of our judges, and by popular vote picked a final winner, we also have another cool beach themed design that is part of this same collection and will be launching at the same time.
The period of production is around 4-6 weeks. The image has to be digitized, and the transfer applied as a graphic on the 7 ply canadian maple wood. It’s a piece of art, but can also be shredded… yeahhhhh This deck was going to originally go for $65, and $45 for our locals. But instead to make this possible, and to allow us to give as much as possible to the park, we will launch it through this period for $65 with $30 of the proceeds going to the production of this park. We will also launch the go fund me and have a jar for donations at our shop.
The overwhelming support and ideas we have already seen from our community is heartwarming and refreshing. We really have a great community that comes together in times like these. We plan to form a committee soon through the town so we can set benchmarks for progress. We need everyone's support on this, and with your support, attention, we believe we can make this possible.