Montclair, NJ

Montclair to Replace Tennis Courts with Skate Park

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All four tennis courts located at Rand Park will soon be taken over by a new permanent skate park according to official Montclair town documents.

Once a review of insurance costs and a risk analysis associated with the expansion of the park are cleared, construction of the skate park could commence as soon as March.

A temporary skate park was first erected in the summer of 2020 in two of the adjacent tennis courts at Rand Park. Since then, Montclair Township voted unanimously in July of last year to support a permanent skate park at Rand Park.
Montclair Skatepark in Use Over the Summer

U.S. Olympian Alexis Sablone, a MIT architect graduate, will be designing the skate structures. She has previously designed a skate-able public space in Sweden. The sculptures and their installation would be paid entirely by Skate Essex, nonprofit organization that has raised $40,000. It is estimated that it will take about 3 weeks to complete the entire installation process.
Alexis Sablone in her Studio

Although tennis court space will be lost, it's important to note that the town of Montclair will still have fourteen open township courts and ten open county courts. In addition to these public courts there are also tennis courts located at Bradford Tennis and Pool, Montclair Golf Club and Glen Ridge Country Club.

However, although the use of these tennis courts as a temporary measure has been mostly met with approval, tennis enthusiasts have recently voiced opposition to losing play space since the township’s announcement of plans to take all of the four courts at Rand Park.

Resident complaints include the fact that booking a court in the town of Montclair is rather competitive. The yearly clinics, schools, and private instructors are taking up many of the time slots. Because of this, and the fact that a majority of residents cannot afford yearly memberships to the private clubs, many people will lose access to tennis court space.

Although it is frustrating to lose one public amenity to make room for another, some huge positives to the new skatepark opening include providing a public space where people of all ages can come together to enjoy physical activity and socialize. Most people would agree that being outside riding a skateboard is a much better and healthier alternative for children and teens than playing video games. Skateparks also provide a place for kids to take part in a sport if they lack the ability or desire to participate in standard school athletics. It has also been statistically proven that since the introduction of skateparks in the 1960's, that they've helped significantly in the fight against childhood obesity.

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