LACONIA — The city Parks and Recreation Commission is recommending that two recreation facilities be named in memory of individuals noted for their dedication to different youth sports and recreation activities.
The City Council was scheduled to take up requests Monday evening to name the gymnasium at the Laconia Community Center the Niel C. Young Gymnasium, and the newly opened skate park the Ben Emmond Skate Park.
The request to name the gym after Young was made by the Lou Athanas Youth Basketball League, which Young helped to organize and was involved with for 19 years, including nine as its president.
Young died in July at the age of 75.
The league “feels this would be a fitting tribute to the man who did so much for the youth of our community,” Parks and Facilities Director Amy Lovisek said in a written report to the council about the Parks Commission’s recommendation for the dedication.
Ben Emmond was an avid skateboarder who died in a traffic accident in Gilford 12 years ago. The 17-year-old was a junior at Laconia High School at the time of his death.
The Degara family formally asked the Parks Commission that the skate park be named in honor of their family member. Following Emmond’s death, the family asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made instead to help support the city’s skate park.
The money raised in Emmond’s name prolonged the use of the former skateboard facility next to the Laconia Police Station for many years, Lovisek said.
The new skate park, located in Opechee Park, was formally opened last Friday.