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We must not let this skate park issue divide our community.
First of all, let me clarify for those of you who think that anyone against the skate park located in front of the library is against the youth of our community. That is not true and not fair. The residents of 2500 Central are not speaking against having a skate park – just not in front of the library.
The library location might mean building some outside bathrooms to accompany this park because the library is not always going to be open during peak park time, like weekends and evenings. There are extra costs and potential hazards that often accompany park bathrooms. We might lose trees since tree roots would be affected by all the concrete and the drainage system. I was surprised when it was voted that the park would close at 9 p.m. every evening, even during the weekends and summer. There are also restrictions about noise and lighting on the library spot because of its proximity to residential areas. I have asked skateboarders and they have expressed this concern. They don’t want it in that location – they just want it NOW! There must be a solution.
The kids need a place to congregate, like a youth activity center. Oh, wait, they already have one, but let’s make it better and add a skate board park to it.
Use the sunken parking lot outside the youth activity center next to the Community Building. Continue the railing around to the sidewalk side, leaving an entrance ramp where skateboarders can drop into a large bowl, just smooth up the sides, put rails and ramps in the middle. Close off that outside door to the center or wall off a walk way going down to that door. It could be completed faster than the library location since it already has drainage and the hole in the ground is there. The architects for the civic center had designed a sunken skate board park at this location.
It’s too logical. Not another inch of concrete would have to be laid down in the downtown area, there would be no SWMU to clean up, it would not harm one tree or blade of grass, it would preserve the quiet park area in front of the library, there are indoor bathrooms in the activity center, it’s closer to restaurants, it is more centrally located downtown so all can watch the skateboarders do their thing and it can be started right NOW. Parks should bring people together, not alienate them.