Trapeze school to get closer look

May 13, 2004|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF

On the verge of approving a trapeze school at the Inner Harbor, city officials decided yesterday to take a closer look before making the leap.

The Board of Estimates was expected to approve a deal to allow the Trapeze School New York to offer lessons on Rash Field until November in exchange for $2,000 a month in rent. The item was listed on the "routine" portion of the agenda, meaning that it was expected to pass without discussion.

But City Council President Sheila Dixon, chairwoman of the board, said she was not aware of the plan until an article about it appeared in yesterday's Sun. She questioned whether the city might be held liable in case of an accident.

An answer was not immediately available, so the board put off the matter until next week.

In an interview earlier in the week, an official with the trapeze school said the city would not be at risk. Customers have to sign forms waiving their right to sue before they can participate, said Brian McVicker, president of the school's Baltimore franchise, which would operate under the name TSNY Baltimore.

McVicker also noted that participants have to master certain moves on a bar suspended 6 feet in the air before they can leap off a 23-foot platform, with safety lines strung from above and a net stretched out below.

Dixon and other members of the board want to make sure that the city's agreement with the trapeze school explicitly states that Baltimore would not be liable.

Once that's taken care of, Dixon said, she is willing to approve the plan - and take a swing herself.

"I think I could handle it," said Dixon, a fitness buff and karate black belt. "I'm game for most things."

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