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Winchester Parks and Rec Seek Funds for Skate Pavilion Construction

"This is not a vertical skate park. This is a street-oriented skate park with grind rails, stairs, grind boxes, that sort of thing, so the features are street-raised. This is something the kids chose."

WINCHESTER, Va. - There is good news for those who enjoy skating, whether it is rollerblading or skateboarding.

Warm weather means more people are out and about; a majority of them being teenagers skating along the streets.

"They skate in neighborhoods, they skate downtown; the whole idea was to give them a safe and legal place to skate," said Jennifer Jones, director of Parks and Recreation.

The idea started in 2004 when businesses complained to police about the noise skaters were making.

That is when the City Council and Parks and Recreation teamed up to make a legal home for skaters.

"This is not a vertical skate park. This is a street-oriented skate park with grind rails, stairs, grind boxes, that sort of thing, so the features are street-raised. This is something the kids chose," adds Jones.

The Skate Pavilion costs approximately $110,000 to build and the city sees it as an investment into youth.

By June 1, 2014, the remaining funds must be raised in order to use the city's matching money.

"Letting them know that we take their sports just as important as what you might consider your typical Parks and Recreation sports, and giving them a safe and legal place to do it," adds Jones.

However, the skate park comes with a set of rules. Skaters must sign a waiver form to receive a sticker. That sticker must be put on their helmet, and wear their helmet while skating.

"A park ranger will be making rounds here at the Skate Pavilion and a zero tolerance policy for the helmet requirement will go into effect.

For those who do not obey the rule will be given a chance to get a sticker or be banned from the skate park completely.

The Skate Pavilion is expected to be finished by June 30, 2014 only if enough funds are raised to finish the construction.

Community members, teen advocates and skateboarders will be gathering for a public interest meeting on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at noon at the Skate Pavilion in Jim Barnett Park.



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