AMHERST, N.Y.— Six years after a tragic crash that took the life of a young woman from Getzville, a skate park is being built in her honor.
Alix Rice, 18, was riding her longboard home when she was hit and killed by Dr. James Corasanti in July 2011. On Friday morning, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the "Alix Rice Memorial Skate Park" at the Northtown Center in Amherst.
"I think she would've loved it, I don't know how she'd feel about it being named after her, she was a little more shy than she always led on to be," said Tammy Schueler, Alix's mom.
This groundbreaking comes on the eve of Alix's passing, six years ago.
Schueler finds comfort in the building of the skate park.
"By tying those two things together, I think what I really want to say is this is our opportunity from this day forward to celebrate Alix's life who she was as a human being and that her memory lives on with her values and her love for her community," Schueler said.
It's a project that's been in the works since fundraising began shortly after the accident. That includes everything from benefit events to a brick-selling campaign, anything to raise enough money to build this park.
In addition to fundraising, the effort has been helped along by grants from the state of New York and the Tony Hawk Foundation.
Leaders of the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation say they're close to reaching their budget for the skate park of $450,000.
"Our fundraising continues not only to reach the goal to build this park the way it was designed to be built but also to continue to be able to maintain and insure the park in years to come," said Brian Duff, the vice president of the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation.
The groundbreaking signifies a major step forward in the park plans. 2 On Your Side has been told the money is in place and a contractor has signed on to build the 10,000 to 16,000 square-foot facility.
The Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation set out to build this facility as a place to keep the memory and values of Alix alive and serve as a safe haven for free spirit skaters of all ages. The foundation is still seeking donations.
The Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation says it hopes to open the park in early fall.