Colonial Heights skate park reopens after vandalism
By James Peacemaker, Jr. Managing Editor
Sep 4, 2013, 14:51
JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT The Colonial Heights Skate Park sits relatively isolated behind the Colonial Heights Technical Center.
COLONIAL HEIGHTS — The Colonial Heights skate park has reopened after being closed for nearly two months due to vandalism.
Recreation Superintendent Matthew Spruill said profanity and names were spray painted all over the surfaces, leading to the closure in early June. Photos were taken and given to police with hopes of catching the culprits.
A message was sent out online Aug. 21 saying it had reopened.
Spruill said graffiti remover did not work and city officials had to research what type of paint to use on the Skatelite material.
Skatelite is a “super durable paper-composite material that is designed to stand up to the daily punishment inflicted by skateboards and BMX bikes,” according to the manufacturer’s website.
The surfaces must have enough grip for wheels and shoes but smooth enough for skaters to slide down the ramp without being injured.
Spruill estimated that about $300 was spent on repainting the skate park.
The skate park sits relatively isolated behind the Colonial Heights Technical Center between a sports field and the woods. It has a half pipe and several other ramps and rails to perform tricks on. It is not supervised by city staff.
Spruill said this was not the first time there was graffiti at the skate park but this was the first time it was bad enough that the park had to be closed. Last week, a trip to the park showed a few marks of spray paint could be seen on a trash can and on the asphalt and words were scrawled with markers on small parts of the ramps.
The ramps’ surfaces were painted white where they had been a cardboard color before.
JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT
The city spent about $10,000 in spring of 2012 to improve the skate park. Home Depot offered a grant, and volunteers chipped in to help.
A message on the city’s website warns “if irresponsible behavior continues, the park may be closed indefinitely.”
Spruill said he hopes people who use the skate park will self-police it and report problems.
“We obviously can’t afford to keep fixing stuff,” he said.