Skate park closed for repairs

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The Idyllwild Skate Park, which opened in 2004, is closed until further notice until sufficient funds are raised to complete a full rehabilitation of all ramp surfaces.

Chris Trout, spokesperson for the Idyllwild Community Center, explained that the ICC Program and Activities Committee asked American Ramp Company, the original ramp designers, to exam the ramp boards and make recommendations. It was determined that the ramps were beyond stopgap repair measures and that full replacement was required “so that riding surface traction would be the same throughout the park [and thereby] creating a safe environment.”

The projected budget for the rehabilitation project is $15,000 and includes $13,400 for materials, $1,200 for labor and $400 for miscellaneous hardware and materials. To date, $7,250 in private donations has been pledged.

Trout explained that ICC has posted “No Trespassing” signs, fenced and locked the area, but some skaters have continued to climb the fence to use the park illegally. She said the next step will be to place diagonal barriers across all ramps that would make skating impossible. She also noted that ICC carries a liability policy.

Scheduled fundraising efforts include: proceeds from an annual ICC Horseshoe Tournament and a Par Course Olympics; an application for a grant from the Idyllwild Community Fund; a “Go Fund Me” account to receive direct donations to the Skate Park refurbishment project on the ICC website, www.idyllwildcommunitycenter.org or on the ICC Facebook page.

Kevin Relyea, executive director of the Idyllwild Pines Camp and Conference Center, where the Skate Park is located through lease agreement, said his board supports the park because it fills a recreation need in the community, especially for an age group that might be too old for or not interested in the ICC playground. “We’re always concerned about kids’ safety, and we’ve had some level of concern because of the unpermitted use by a few kids, but we’re all working to keep it safe until it’s repaired.”

He said he knew ICC was doing all it could to prevent usage. “It’s been used, to my knowledge, so infrequently over the last year,” he said, noting that neither he nor his staff can monitor it 24 hours, “but when we see kids using it we try to shoo them away, and for the most part they comply. We’re very supportive of the ICC and the park and want the kids to have access to a safe place.”

Relyea pointed out that an appropriate lease must be completed, once the park ramps are repaired, but he has no reason to believe his board would not approve a lease.

Trout said current projections are for the rehabilitation project, once funded, to take two weeks to complete, with the help of community volunteers. “In the meantime, all residents are asked to honor the current closure of the skate park to prevent any unwarranted injuries,” said Trout. For more information contact info@idyllwildcommunitycenter.org or call 951-965-0456.

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