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Skate park to be built soon

BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Finally, after years of being kicked out of vacant parking lots, skaters will now have a place to call home, even if the lot for this home hasn’t been decided yet.
Park board members talked last month about plans for Bristol’s new skate park, but haven’t settled on a spot.
But the skate park may be operating by fall or next spring, said Ed Swicklas, superintendent of the city’s park department.
The city allocated $125,000 for the skate park.
Swicklas said the amount would probably buy about eight pieces of equipment for the park.
Possible locations include Page Park, Lake Avenue or behind Chippens Hill Middle School off Peacedale Street.
Park board members liked the proximity of the middle school to the Peacedale location, which the city already owns, because kids can go there after school. They also said the site isn’t close to neighbors.
Rules for the park are yet to be written and the committee is more concerned about the construction of the park right now.
“Supervision is the logical thing to have,” Swicklas said.
The skatepark is going to have many things to skid, roll and grind on. There will be a “half pipe, pyramid, grind rail, a curved ramp, banker ramp and a fun box,” said Swicklas.
Farmington built a skate park about two years ago. The park is booming with business, drawing about 50 people a day, said Bruce Till, superintendent of parks in Farmington.
Half of the visitors are from out of town, Till said.
The Farmington park took about three to four months to build, according to Till. Projected cost for that park was about $100,000 but the actual tab ended up being around $70,000, he said, covered by taxes and donations.
Many kids use the park, but a pass is required to get in, Till said. Passes cost $75 for a season if you are a resident of Farmington but $125 if you live out of town.
The Farmington park is open from April 1st to Nov. 20th. The park closes at sunset.
Till said safety items like knee and elbow pads are recommended.
But, he said, “we don’t require them.”
Helmets, however, are mandatory to enter the par, Till said.
Till said word spread through town about Farmington’s skate park. There’s no age limit to use, Till said, so the whole family can go.
Till said family passes are available to the Farmington facility.
It’s not yet clear whether there will be a charge for the Bristol park.

Kate Haire is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

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