What now sits as unused and undeveloped land will soon be home to a brand new community park near downtown Corning, after the city was awarded a statewide park development and community revitalization grant. " We were keeping our fingers crossed, we pointed very well within the state point system and we were very fortunate to be awarded the grant", said Corning Planning Director John Stoufer.
The city is one of only 64 California cities, and the only city in the north state to be awarded the 4.3-million dollar grant, out of the states more than 500 applicants. The long application process has been underway since March of 2010, and city officials were told last November they would soon be receiving the funding. " We've been trying to get a skateboard park together for them for quite a while, and we're just very lucky we got the grant in and got the money for it, we have a good skateboard community here", said Corning council member Dave Linnet.
The 18.5 acres has already been purchased for the park along Jewitt Creek, east of Toomes Avenue and west of Houghton Avenue. The park will include a lighted skateboard and bicycle park, two lighted soccer fields, an amphitheater, a covered gazebo with picnic and barbecue areas and two playgrounds equipped with basketball and handball courts. " Especially the skate and bike park is something Corning definitely needs cause we've had issues with the skaters, there's no place for them to skate", said Stoufer.
There is a worry the park may attract vandals, but park designers hope the plaza styled layout, and easy road access for police patrols will cut down on the chances. Either way officials say the park is a welcomed addition to the city. " It'll definitely bring something to Corning, we're hoping the money we have from the grant will make this probably the premiere skate and bike park in the north state", explained Stoufer.
The city is still in the planning process for the park. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012 and the project should take a little over a year to complete.