WILKES-BARRE, ALZERNE COUNTY (WBRE / WYOU) – An abandoned tennis court in Wilkes-Barre has been transformed into a skate park.
The residents say there is nowhere to go, but the town is not happy and shuts it down. But there may be a solution to make both sides happy.
You can see those who worked to turn a tennis court into a skate park cemented the rails and pipes straight into the ground. Now the skaters are upset after learning that skating is no longer allowed here.
But the mayor of Wilkes-Barre says a new skate park is on the way. Trey Haman of Hazleton was one of the first to use the makeshift skate park at Barney Farms Park.
“It started with those two ledges over there. That one. The skaters came and built this. Then it seemed like everyone got involved and the whole community, skateboarding, biking, scooter, got together and started pouncing on this place, ”Haman said.
Skaters say the makeshift park itself is in disrepair, built over abandoned tennis courts. Some are not surprised that the do-it-yourself parks are demolished by the city authorities.
“They come and go you know? People put them in place, people tear them down. This is how it goes, ”said Mike McGoldrick of Scranton.
McGoldrick says skateparks keep people out of trouble, off private property and property, and it’s a place to grow the skating community. But he says there aren’t any suitable places to skate in the area.
“I can only speak of one in my area. It’s on Jackson Street. It’s prefabricated plastic. People thrive on this stuff. It’s on asphalt, the ground is rough. These aren’t the barriers we need, ”said McGoldrick.
That’s why he’s asking city officials to create a designated park where people can skate. Mayor George Brown recognized the need for such a park. He says they planned to build the park last year, but then the pandemic happened.
“My priorities were no longer on a skateboard park, my priorities were to run the city and keep this city solvent during the worst times that have possibly happened in the past few years,” said Mayor Brown.
But now that things are slowly returning to normal, Mayor Brown says a new skate park in Hollenback Park is in the works.
“There is a large open space that we are planning to use in a skate park. Good thing, it will be done professionally. It will be carried out by entrepreneurs who build professional parks. Not by people drilling holes and damaging a tennis court, ”said Mayor Brown.
This do-it-yourself skate park will be demolished later this week.
Mayor Brown says there will be a meeting Wednesday to discuss the Hollenback Park skating area. He says the meeting will include feedback from skaters, to ensure the park meets ideal skating conditions.