City skate pavilion opens Wednesday

Posted: November 20, 2012

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Area skateboarders will have something to be thankful for Wednesday.

The Winchester Parks and Recreation Department will open its skate pavilion in Jim Barnett Park, giving enthusiasts a place to skate legally in the city.

Obstacles for skating have not been installed at the Christianson Familyland site, but columns at the facility are padded, tables and benches have been removed and signs listing the pavilion’s rules are installed. The opening will be held without any ceremony.

“We’ll most likely have a grand opening once we get the equipment in place,” said Lisa Hamaker, assistant director of the parks and recreation department. “There will not be anything Wednesday except they’ll be able to skate once they get their helmet stickers.”

Among the rules for the pavilion are that skaters must have a completed waiver form on file, must wear a safety helmet at all times and must have a decal on their helmet signifying that they’re authorized to skate. Decals are provided when skaters turn in their waiver forms.

Minors must have their waiver forms signed by a parent or guardian. Forms are available at the War Memorial Building or can be found online at winchesterva.gov/parks/documents/skate-pavilion/Acknowledgement-and-Waiver-of-Liability.pdf. There is no processing fee.

When City Council authorized the department to pursue the skate pavilion, a goal was established to allow skating at the site by Thanksgiving. Hamaker said staff members weren’t sure the department would meet that target date because corner protectors for the building had to be backordered.

“That was needed,” she said, “and we were thankful to get those.”

Three people have already turned in waiver forms, and Hamaker said park staffers are ready to process more.

“Hopefully we’ll have a lot of people coming up, because otherwise staff will be reminding them they have to come up,” she said.

Members of the Winchester Police Department will have fliers to hand out to anyone they see skating elsewhere in the city, Hamaker added.

A committee has been formed to solicit donations to be used to buy obstacles for the pavilion. Hamaker said the panel won’t formally begin its campaign until the United Way fundraising drive has ended because its members don’t want to compete with the agency for money.

Those interested in donating are asked to contact Brad Veach, Winchester’s parks and recreation director.

winchesterva.gov/parks/skate-pavilion

— Contact Vic Bradshaw at vbradshaw@winchesterstar.com