Trinity Rep Putting The Squeeze On Skate Park

I am a big fan of this little skate park. Tucked between the parking garage and the Trinity Rep Theater, this alleyway was dedicated to Trinity Rep icon, Adrian Hall, in 1997. The skaters refer to the park as Trinity, while ‘Friends of Adrian Hall’ is the name they adopted for their nonprofit when they got organized, arranged funding, found sponsors, and built themselves a regular skate park.

One of the project’s original guiding forces, Will Cornwall, once explained:

No one calls the spot Adrian Hall Park, but I like that the name of our non-profit group, Friends of Adrian Hall, doesn’t have the words skatepark, plaza or skateboarding in it. We’re acknowledging the history predating our involvement.

Unfortunately, Trinity Rep now wants some of that history back with a plan for extending the theater’s footprint into the alleyway with a five-story addition. I contacted Will last April for an update:

While there is an allocation of $475,000 to rebuild the alleyway, the construction schedule hasn’t materialized yet. The theater’s current addition plan has more than doubled in size since their 2019 proposal, creating concerns about how the alleyway can realistically hold the shared vision of expanded recreational space, vehicle deliveries to the theater and brewery, theater patron access, occasional event use (like pvd fest), and pedestrian egress from Fountain to Washington. The theater is also only a little over halfway towards their fundraising goal of $35 million. So as the theater continues on their fundraising and design process, the dimensions and design of the expanded park area will remain an open question.

The Friends of Adrian Hall have laid out their arguments explaining their opposition HERE.

The original plans were not so invasive. Last week Wheeler Cowperthwaite covered the conflict in the ProJo:

Will Cornwall, part of the Friends of Adrian Hall Way organization, which has worked with the city to develop the skate park, said in an interview that earlier versions of the proposed plan, submitted before 2020, were a lot more palatable because there was a much smaller footprint.

When the proposed project grew into the middle of the alley, it became untenable, he said.

Please read the article and check out the proposed site plan. The City Plan Commission has given a positive recommendation to the proposal, but “the abandonment issue now has to be vetted by a series of City Council committees before going to the council for a vote.”

The skaters have worked so hard — dealing with the city, wrangling funds, and plain old sweat equity — to bring this gem to fruition. And they hold events there: Last summer they joined with Civil skate shop to host a group of nationally known skaters; PVD Fest always found a use for the space; and people are still talking about the Lightning Bolt show and voter registration drive from the before times.

So who are these skaters? A bunch of disrespectful renegades, wiseguys, and hooligans? Before you judge — check out their pollinators’ garden.

The group invites you to add your name to a petition.

 

 

 

 

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