The city, the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth and community members have worked throughout the year to develop plans to revitalize the Elk Street Park in partnership with the national non-profit Project Backboard that seeks to renovate and improve public outdoor basketball courts.
The citizen-driven project calls for the Elk Street Park to be overhauled with new seating in the form of colorful Adirondack chairs installed on a fresh concrete terrace, replacing an area of asphalt and concrete pavers where concrete tables and metal chairs currently sit.
The new seating area would be accessed through a decorative archway featuring the name of the park, an existing shelter will be repainted in bright colors, bleachers will be installed behind one corner of the basketball court, fencing surrounding the court will be repaired and trees will be planted along the front of the park on East Fulton Street.
The focal point of the park improvements will be the basketball court that will be resurfaced and painted with a mural designed by a Gloversville High School student. Students submitted designs for possible selection at the end of the 2018-19 school year. Five finalists were selected from among the submissions, with a final design to be chosen by community members through an online poll in October.
The winning design was officially unveiled by Mayor Vincent DeSantis and Gloversville Enlarged School District Superintendent David Halloran at the high school on Tuesday during a presentation before the Dragons varsity basketball team tipped off in a home game against Scotia-Glenville.
“I’d like to thank all the artists who participated in the contest,” Halloran said before DeSantis welcomed senior Kaylin Lee to the center court. “The selected design is excellent, as were the other choices. We look forward to seeing the conceptual designs become a reality and look forward to future partnerships to help reimagine our community. Thank you to all who have worked so hard to make this happen.”
DeSantis recognized Lee, whose mural design featuring an array of swirling colors was selected by the community to be painted on the Elk Street Park court surface in the spring. Other finalists in the mural design contest were Cassandra Baurle, Nina Lomanto, Zindora Richards and Julia Robare.
Also invited out onto the court to receive recognition were high school students Kadin O’Shaughnessy and Dante Bouchard who designed a commemorative mural that will be hung at the park honoring the memories of Shauna Beekman and Anthony “Ice” Coger.
“I’m really gratified to see our students take an active role in improving the community and I’m very proud of all of you,” said DeSantis. “There will be many more projects in the future to allow more participation. It’s great to see a positive attitude.”
The park redevelopment project is expected to cost around $45,000 to be funded through contributions from the community. A pair of fundraising events were held in October to get the ball rolling with additional events to be organized by volunteers on the Project Backboard Committee in the future.
The committee plans to pursue additional phases of the project in the future to expand the Elk Street Park from East Fulton Street to Washington Street utilizing property the city purchased from Fulton County earlier this year.
For more information about Project Backboard and plans for the revitalization of the Elk Street Park visit downtowngloversville.org.