A hearty “Well done!” is owed the many hands who made Friday’s opening of the revamped and superb Lars Simenson Skatepark in Montauk possible. More than 20 years after its initial construction, the park has been made new again, with changes that immediately boosted it to among the best on the East Coast.
It was the unexpected death of the original park designer, Andy Kessler, in 2009 that gave rise to the new one. Among others, JJ Veronis, who was a friend of Kessler’s, a skater, and a street artist, kept the idea going, helping chase down private donations, then getting the Town of East Hampton on board for $280,000. In all, the organizers found more than $1.3 million for a park that will appeal to expert skaters and beginners alike. Support came from Town Councilman David Lys, as well as artists and craftspeople who contributed work for an auction. But individual donations were by far the most important factor in getting it done — and a sign of just how much people cared about helping build a high-quality park.
Friday’s official opening, attended by hundreds, was called the party of the year by some who were there. The sense of community soared as high as the skaters blasting into the air.