City council votes to allot $25K to repair K-Rob’s skate park in East Providence

Providence

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The East Providence City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve funding for much-needed repairs to the Kevin Robinson Memorial Skate Park.

The park was installed by the East Providence native in 2016, but has fallen into disrepair in recent years. The BMX star who brought home the gold in the X-Games died of a stroke in 2017.

The skatepark was dedicated to Robinson, nicknamed K-Rob, in 2019.

“I’ve been here since it was built, so I’ve seen the ramps get bigger and the layout move around a little bit,” Seekonk resident Connor Dowty said. “But seeing it get a little bit worse, it kind of stinks but, I mean, it happens. So many of us ride it every single day.”

Dowty said he and his friends ride at the skatepark almost every day, and they’ve made it their own community.

But he fears someone will get hurt soon.

“We’ve had metal plates sticking all over the place. I’m just waiting for some kid to slide into it and just cut his arm open or something,” Dowty said.

K-Rob’s wife, Robin Robinson, told 12 News Tuesday that the damage is due to the weather.

As a widowed mother of three, she said she couldn’t afford the repairs and her husband’s foundation has already exhausted its funds. She said the issue has become overwhelming since his sudden passing.

When East Providence City Councilman Nate Cahoon got word of this, he put together a proposal that would allocate $25,000 from the city’s capital fund to make improvements and repairs to the park.

“It’s got some holes in it, it’s got some rot, there’s a couple places where they patched it over with street signs so nobody falls through, so that’s not a safe situation,” Cahoon said. “The K-Rob Foundation has really done a lot for the city, to include the installation of that park, the donation, the equipment.”

“t just didn’t seem right to me that it’s been sitting on city property, it’s kids from all over that are using it,” he continued. “We build schools, we take care of our parks. [We] want to make sure the kids come up and stay here and have their own kids, so, that’s kind of the idea.”

Robinson said she’s grateful for the city’s gift, and that the park will continue impacting the community for years to come.

“It means the world to me and the action sports community in the area,” she said.

Riders like Dowty, who was at the park on Tuesday, echoed that sentiment.

“It’s such a good thing for kids to come here and ignore some of the street side of things and just have some fun on something that challenges yourself,” Dowty said.

While the money from the city will go to repairs, Robinson said the park has remained the same layout since 2016.

Robinson has started a GoFundMe page to raise extra money to make changes for the skateboarders, bikers and scooter riders who visit every day. So far, it’s raised nearly $3,000.

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