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Residents Excited Over Plans for New Skate Park

The city set aside $250,000 for the construction of a new park. It is pursuing additional funding.

Ocean City is moving forward with plans for a new skateboard park. The old park at Sixth Street and Boardwalk was closed in 2011. (Patch File Photo)
Ocean City is moving forward with plans for a new skateboard park. The old park at Sixth Street and Boardwalk was closed in 2011. (Patch File Photo)
Ocean City Council was greeted by citizen after citizen who was excited about plans to bring a skateboard park to Ocean City during the citizen comment portion of its council meeting Thursday night at the library.

Residents described the possible park as an asset to the community and a tool to help it stand out among other shore communities. A common theme was the thought that skateboarding is more than a hobby; it’s a culture.

“My kids have to leave town right now to go to a skateboard park,” said Todd Dwyer, owner of Chickie’s and Pete’s on the boardwalk. “They’re bouncing off the walls about this. This provides loads of opportunities for us. It could be a great draw for us.”

The city set aside about $250,000 for the skateboard park as part of its 5-year Capital Improvement Plan. The city is actively seeking additional funding.

“The skate park will cost more than what was budgeted for it, but we will keep working toward it,” Councilman Michael DeVlieger said Thursday night. “ … This would help to create a better family atmosphere.”

No final decisions have been made on where the skate park would be located, or what the design of the park would be. Even without that, excitement concerning the park was in the air.

The original skateboard park at Sixth Street and Boardwalk was shut down in 2011. At the time, city officials cited safety concerns due to deteriorating equipment and the use of bicycles in the park were contributing factors.

It wasn’t long before skateboard enthusiasts in Ocean City began a movement to have the park returned to the city.

City officials approved plans for a new skateboard facility in July. The project would include resurfaced shuffleboard courts, the addition of pickleball courts on Sixth Street and the repaving of a municipal parking lot.

The park will be a destination for families as well as those looking to hone and improve their skills.

“This will be a family activity more than a kid activity,” Councilman Keith Hartzell said by telephone during Thursday’s meeting. “We’re working on sponsorships, and we’re going to get aggressive on doing that.”

Seth Bazacas February 17, 2014 at 09:30 AM
This would be a wonderful addition to Ocean City. I enjoyed the previous skate park when I was growing up and I would love to see a new one back on the island for future generations.
Dennis Siteman February 17, 2014 at 09:35 AM
This is awesome! Hoping for a PROPER skate park that I can bring my daughter to! So sick of taking long drives (out of town) to go for a skate!
Mike Paton February 17, 2014 at 07:16 PM
Is it going to be a bike facility too, or is the bmx community going to excluded and considered criminals for riding here?
Steve Beseris February 18, 2014 at 08:00 PM
Good question. I am definitely not an authority on this subject but from what I understand, the city is planning to open the skatepark to skateboards, bikes and scooters. The issue is that the insurance policy that will cover this park has certain limitations, ones that can’t be circumvented if the city is to be able to keep the park insured and open. One of the rules clearly states that bikes cannot be in a skatepark at the same time that skateboards and scooters are. So the city seems to be committed to designating certain windows of time that will be BMX only. If these windows need to be increased or decreased based on need I think that there should be enough flexibility within the schedule to adjust. Nobody wants to see a half-baked park in OC that excludes any stakeholders; that would be an embarrassment to all.
Heather graff February 19, 2014 at 05:34 PM
I hope this goes thru I hate having to travel to sea isle with the kids so they can skateboard n scooter it's great exercise and fun these kids need this in ocean city. There's no where they can always getting told can't skate here we need this .please bring it back soon

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