Columbia's Skateboard Park opens after six-month delay

Police will offer `skate free' coupons

June 17, 1999|By Erika Niedowski | Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF

Skateboarders of Columbia, unite!

After more than six months of delay, the 10,000-square-foot Skateboard Park will hold its grand opening at 6 tonight in Harper's Choice Village Center -- with demonstrations by two professional skaters from California.

The fenced-in Skateboard Park, which cost about $175,000 to build, has 13 ramps and jumps and is designed to give enthusiasts a safe, supervised -- and sanctioned -- place to enjoy their sport.

Admission is $2.25 for residents and Columbia Association members, and $5 for nonresidents.

Season passes are available for $75 for residents and CA members and $150 for nonresidents.

Padding required

Full padding, including a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads, is required. It can be rented at the park.

To encourage skateboarders to use the park -- rather than skate illegally at the Town Center lakefront, the village centers or other public places -- CA has formed a partnership with Howard County police.

Rob Goldman, CA's vice president for membership services, said CA has given the Police Department "skate free" coupons that officers can hand out to those found skating in areas where it isn't allowed.

"What they're basically going to say is, `Here's a pass to use the skate park. I'm giving you this instead of a ticket or a warning,' " said Goldman. "Our intention is to allow any child with those coupons to use it one time" at no cost.

The park officially opened Friday afternoon to a crowd of eager skaters.

`It's been active'

"There was a line of 30 kids," said Goldman. "It's been active."

The park will be open from noon to 10 p.m. daily.

Tonight's grand opening will feature professional skaters Gershon Mosely and Danny Garcia of California, who will demonstrate skateboarding moves and techniques from 6 p.m. to 6: 30 p.m.

The adjacent SportsPark offers miniature golf, batting cages, a picnic area and snack bar.

Pub Date: 6/17/99

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