City Council OKs park use for skate pavilion
Posted: October 10, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — The city has a skate pavilion in its future, but it likely will be a month or more before skaters legally can use it.
By an 8-0 vote Tuesday night, City Council authorized a portion of the Christianson Familyland pavilion and shuffleboard court at Jim Barnett Park to be converted to a skate pavilion.
The vote represents a major action in an approximately 12-year effort to advance a facility skateboarders, inline skaters and others can use for their extreme sports.
But Brad Veach, the city’s parks and recreation director, said it will be weeks before the pavilion is properly prepared for use by area skaters. Parks staff must remove benches and tables and install protectors on the corners of columns in the pavilion, and rules signs must be prepared and posted.
“Our goal is to have the area cleared and all the protective stuff up by Thanksgiving,” he said following the council meeting.
Liability waivers also must be obtained from those wishing to use the facility. Veach said helmet stickers will be provided to identify those authorized to skate.
The effort to establish a facility where children and adults can skate legally and safely has had false starts in the past. At least three previous efforts died when project fundraising efforts ceased.
This time, however, reusing an existing concrete pad is lowering the cost. Scaled-down plans that include the use of modular equipment have made the project more affordable.
“It’s something that’s been a long time coming,” Veach said. “We’ve been working on it for 12 years, and there’s always been obstacles that have come up.”
Ramps and other obstacles for the skate pavilion are expected to cost $50,000 to $75,000, and Veach said he thinks that amount can be raised within nine months. He said he’ll ask City Council next spring to match up to $35,000 to go toward the facility.
Final fundraising plans, he said, are expected to be established at a Skate Pavilion Committee meeting on Monday.
Shawn Roop, a Braddock Street resident who is a member of the committee, was the only person to speak to council about the project. He urged its approval so fundraising can begin.
“My No. 1 concern is that we are at a standstill with fundraising,” he said. “We’re to the point where we really need to start the ball rolling. I’ve already got donations ready to go.”
Veach said several businesses and civic groups have pledged to assist the project. He also said a business has expressed an interest in operating the existing concession stand in the pavilion for skate equipment and refreshment sales.
— Contact Vic Bradshaw at firstname.lastname@example.org