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Skate park to close temporarily

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By Jennifer Garcia

Skaters looking to blow off some steam at the skate park will have to find another way to entertain themselves until Friday, at least.

Beginning today through Thursday, the skate park will be closed because crews will be taking care of some caulking at the site. Closure signs will be posted at the park.

The caulking work is being done by California Skate Parks Inc., the company that constructed the park in front of Mesa Public Library.

“Dick (McIntyre, Parks Division Manager) and I did a walk-through about three months ago and noticed the cracks,” Community Services Director Stephani Johnson said. “At that time, the weather was still cold and it wasn’t an appropriate time for them to come and do the repairs. This is really the first opportunity they’ve had to do them,” she explained.

Johnson also said that the work being done on the park is part of the walk-through and punch list items associated with the construction of the skate park. Johnson describes the cracks being repaired as hairline cracks.

She said that she’s not sure whether they are structural or not. In addition, she said that the damage does not pose any danger to the skaters, because they are hairline cracks.

Recently, Craig Wehner of LA Landscapes and More erected a fence around areas of the skate park. The fence matches the one that was already in place and serves as a way to separate the skaters from the pedestrians entering and exiting the library.

Johnson said the fence project was completed about three weeks ago and serves as a way to avoid pedestrian/skater incidents.

In addition, plans are still in the works to hire a monitor for the skate park. Johnson said that she and Recreation Division Manager Randy Smith have narrowed the pool of applicants and are in the process of checking references.

After references are checked, the chosen applicant’s paperwork will be forwarded to human resources so that the applicant can be presented with an offer of employment. She said she hopes to have someone in place within the next 10 or so days.

Another project in the works for the skate park is the implementation of etiquette classes.

Avid skaters Elliott Marcille and Gabe Priestly are working with Parks and Recreation staff in hopes of establishing etiquette classes for other skaters. In addition, they would host exhibitions and competitions for the skaters. The classes will focus on learning how to ride and do simple tricks.

The classes will focus on an educational component about taking turns at the park, entering and exiting the areas and simple do’s and don’ts while skating.

Ideally, the classes would be held on Sundays, though the frequency is not yet clear. Additionally, staff is working with the youth to design skate park T-shirts to hand out as part of the programs and presentations.

The sessions will be free of charge.