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A Skate Park in Vernon Could Cost $100,000 ... or Less ... or Less

A Rockville Community Alliance official said several strategies are being considered.

A Town Council member who is also a longtime Rockville Community Alliance member is placing the cost of a potential skate park in town at six-figures.

Thomas DiDio a current council member who has taken on a leadership role in  the RCA's efforts to get a skate park constructed in Vernon, said it could take several months for the organization to become an official non-profit entity, but that just gives everyone a chance to get really organized.

"We are figuring $100,000, maybe $80,000," DiDio said on Monday, the day after the RCA announced that the application to the Internal Revenue Service seeking charitable status is almost ready to be submitted.

Then, he paused.

"We could even do it piecemeal," he said.

The bottom line? The RCA does not mind starting slowly.

"We can do it in pieces," DiDio said, referring to an element here and there while building the park gradually. A sketch fashioned by local landscape architect Jeff Hutton, based on input from local skaters, has been serving as the blueprint for the park.

One priority is to seek a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation, the philanthropic organization founded by the skateboarding superstar that helps build skate parks in underprivileged areas.

But that also means finding a home for the park, preferably in Rockville. DiDio was quick to say that no commitments have been made, but parcels like a vacant commercial lot at the corner of West and West Main streets, one on St. Bernard's Terrace and a parcel behind Maple Street School are relatively flat and just the right size, DiDio said.

He also mused about one indoors as part of the revitalization of the old Amerbelle factory complex.   

RCA officials have said all along they expect no municipal funding for the project. DiDio said anyone wishing to volunteer for the project may contact him at thomas.didio@snet.net.

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