10 apply to manage new skateboard park

Town seeks person experienced in sport

August 20, 1999|By Jennifer Sullivan | Jennifer Sullivan,SUN STAFF

When a skater glides down one of the 10 ramps at the new Mount Airy skateboard park, town officials want to make sure they are watched closely by an experienced skateboarder who will manage the facility.

Town Councilman David Pyatt, who chairs Mount Airy's parks and recreation committee, said at the panel's monthly meeting last night that the town has received about 10 applications for the minimum-wage position.

Pyatt said the job requires a knowledge of basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Selecting a manager is "going to be hard," the councilman said.

He said a tremendous amount of interest in the job has emerged from among town residents ranging in age from 16 to 20.

"I even had one kid call me at home two or three times," said Pyatt, adding that the position should be filled in two weeks.

The 14,000-square-foot skateboard facility at Watkins Park is set to open late next month.

Before then, the town's insurance company, Local Government Insurance Trust of Columbia, which insures many Maryland recreation facilities, will inspect the facility to ensure that all safety requirements have been met.

The skateboard park, visible from Route 27, has been in the works for almost a year.

Construction began this summer.

The contractor is James Presley of James Service of Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Presley, 26, a carpenter who has built everything from houses to furniture, said he has never built ramps for a skateboard park.

However, he has skateboarded for more than 12 years and builds ramps in his back yard, he said.

His bid of $69,495 was the lowest of three bidders.

Town officials estimate that the community is saving more than $100,000 by using Presley.

Tim Reardon, 24, the owner of Pit Crew skateboard shop in Frederick and a friend of Presley, designed the park at no cost.

Reardon asked customers, employees and well-known amateur skateboarders for their advice.

Pyatt, an engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy, sketched the blueprints.

The result is a park that "won't be so cookie-cutter," Reardon said.

The facility 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.

Nearly all of the ramps have been built, and Presley and his crew are in the process of attaching the Skate-Lite Pro.

Once the park is finished, Pyatt said, he hopes to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which may include demonstrations by professional skateboarders.

The skateboard park is Mount Airy's first.

Eight skateboard parks are open in Maryland -- including in Westminster, Columbia and Baltimore County.

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