Contractor hired for skateboard park

Builder from W.Va. will build 10 ramps

July 14, 1999|By Jennifer Sullivan | Jennifer Sullivan,SUN STAFF

The Mount Airy Town Council has unanimously hired a West Virginia carpenter to build ramps for a new skateboard park, which will be visible from Route 27.

The site at Watkins Park has been graded and asphalted. All that was left to do was hire a contractor to build 10 ramps inside the 14,400-square-foot park -- which the Town Council did Monday at its monthly meeting.

James Presley of James Service of Harpers Ferry has never built ramps for a public park, but his bid of $69,495 was much lower than three other bidders. The highest bid was $199,999.

Presley, 26, who says he has built everything from houses to furniture, has skateboarded for more than 12 years and builds ramps in his back yard.

The Ijamsville, Frederick County, resident said he doesn't anticipate making a lot of money on the project, but wants to help "build a skate park near my own town."

"I'm going to have a crew of six to eight men -- probably two other fully qualified carpenters," he said.

The park is scheduled to be completed in September. The cost will be covered by the town's fee-in-lieu fund. Mount Airy requires every developer to donate money or land for parks and recreation.

Skateboard shop owner Tim Reardon, a friend of Presley, is helping create the park.

The 24-year-old owner of Pit Crew in Frederick designed the park. He asked customers, employees and well-known amateur skateboarders for their advice, and David Pyatt, an engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy, sketched the blueprints.

The result, Reardon said, is a park that "won't be so cookie-cutter." Mount Airy's skate park will have rails, ledges, two miniramps, five quarter-pipes and two half-pipes, one of them 6 feet tall and 40 feet wide. The ramps will be covered with Skate-Lite Pro, a smooth, waterproof alternative to Masonite, which was once used for such parks.

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

Pub Date: 7/14/99

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