Skate park is rolling along

Frederick man's aid helps cut $50,000 from design price tag

June 18, 1999|By Jennifer Sullivan | Jennifer Sullivan,SUN STAFF

When Tim Reardon, the owner of a Frederick skateboard shop, learned that neighboring Mount Airy was looking to build a skateboard park, he offered his expertise.

Town officials welcomed his help. Several months later, the skating park -- one of the few of its kind in Carroll County -- is being built. And by tapping Reardon's help, town officials saved taxpayers $50,000.

The 14,400-square-foot site, visible from Route 27, has been graded and should be covered with asphalt within a week. The park will have 10 ramps.

Reardon "really did what I hoped he would: He came up with a design based on skateboarders and their experiences," said Mount Airy Town Councilman David Pyatt.

The town has received four bids from ramp manufacturers, ranging from $69,000 to $199,999. The council will choose one at its next meeting, on July 12.

Reardon said many communities have made it clear that they don't want skateboarding on their streets. He and Malcolm Bryan, co-owner of the Pit Crew skateboard shop, were persuaded by customers to attend a Mount Airy Town Council meeting last fall after learning about the town's interest in providing a skateboard park.

Pyatt said that although signs prohibiting skateboarding are posted throughout the community, business owners have complained that it's happening on their property.

The park has received town residents' support "because they are glad we're doing something about the skateboarders," he said.

Pyatt, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Department, said the decision to use Reardon and Bryan instead of hiring a design firm trimmed $50,000 from the estimated cost of $91,000.

"I've never been to a town meeting, but when things didn't happen, I stood up," Reardon said, noting that the council seemed overwhelmed by the crowd of skateboarders.

The 24-year-old Frederick native remembers growing up with run-down skating facilities and said he "just wanted to give these kids somewhere to skate."

Pyatt said he worked closely with Reardon throughout the design process. Reardon asked customers, employees and well-known amateur skateboarders their advice, and Pyatt, an engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy, sketched the blueprints.

The skateboard park is Mount Airy's first. Westminster and Columbia recently opened sites, and Pyatt said Sykesville has expressed an interest in opening one.

He and Reardon agreed that the park will do well because of its distinctive design.

"Ours won't be so cookie-cutter," said Reardon. His design team made a point to clearly mark the ramps based on skill level, he said.

The ramps will be covered with Skate-Lite Pro, a smooth, waterproof alternative to Masonite, which was once used for such parks. The park will have rails, ledges, two mini-ramps, five quarter-pipes, including one 40 feet wide, and two half-pipes, one of them 6 feet tall and 40 feet wide.

Although business owners and residents welcome the park, "it's not going to alleviate kids from skating on the streets, because that's the nature of the sport," Reardon said.

Pub Date: 6/18/99

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