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Outdoor Basketball Initiative Moving Forward in Lakewood

Construction of the new hoops at Lakewood Park is under way, but council still had a couple of questions.

As construction of the Mark Vincent Dickens court at Lakewood Park is under way, council gave its stamp of approval on the proposed basketball initiative at its meeting on Monday.

At a recent council meeting, at-large councilwoman Monique Smith raised a few concerns over the hoops at the park.

Among her questions, she said, was how the courts would be funded.

With private donations, the Lakewood Outdoor Basketball Committee is raising the $30,000 costs for the courts, located just to the west of the Lakewood Skate Park.

“The only remaining piece is the supervision piece, and we all agreed that we need to talk more about that,” Smith said. “Young people don’t always make the best decisions in the world. 

"I’d like to see more supervision. What I am asking the administration for is something more structured — have those kids know that an adult is going to drop in sometime.”

The construction of the new courts got under way last week, and is expected to be completed within a couple of weeks.

The second phase of the project, including fencing and brick pavers, is expected to be completed in the spring.

“We had a problem with it when they were asking for money,” said council president Brian Powers. “Now, they’re not asking for any money. So, I don’t think anyone has a problem with it.”

Mayor Michael Summers told city council at its committee-of-the-whole meeting Monday that the city wouldn’t pay for supervision at the courts.

Powers said that council will likely discuss the idea of supervision at all the city's parks at council's next round of budget discussions.

“If the LOBC is willing to get volunteers that’d be tremendous,” he said.

Aside from Kauffman Park — where there’s been a pilot program for the past two years — there are no public outdoor basketball courts in Lakewood.

The last public court was removed in 2007.

The citizen-led LOBC has worked for months to get the courts built, and has already raised a majority of the $30,000 needed to build the hoops.

Hope R October 05, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I meant to leave my other comment on this page but put it on the related. Sorry! FINALLY a decision I am pleased with Council about! My son spent his whole summer and even now, playing ball at the Kauffman park's pilot program! Not only did I not have to fight him to get off the stupid video games , he didn't get in one OUNCE of trouble all summer! We have to give these kids something constructive to do, something free or affordable for us those of us stuck in the 47%! This not only ensures they stay in shape, but helps ensure they don't get bored and become yet another juvenile deliquent! My son was so pumped he decide to play ball at LHS this year! WTG Lakewood!
Michael October 09, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Ugh. I remember the hoops at Madison Park. All the fights and smoking and loud music and harassment. I remember the hoops at Roosevelt Elementary. Same thing. I'm not making a prediction here. Just remembering the real past. Mike
Hope R October 26, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Want to Solve the problem, don't just "worry" about it, gripe about it or post about it. Get out there and volunteer to be a mentor for these kids and help your community. My son appreciated the men who volunteer there. He said they really help you play better. They aren't just there make sure you aren't a trouble maker. That's how you avoid the "undesirables" at the parks. You have a real presence of responsible adults watching and helping. Like the good old days when it was a "village" who raised a child.

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