October 10, 2012 | 233 views
Valley Stream finds new home for skate park
When plans for the Valley Stream Skate Park were announced in 2011, both the skateboarding community and village officials were happy with the new endeavor. Now, more than a year later, neither group is pleased with the current setup, and there are plans to move the park from the hockey rink in front of the Long Island Rail Road station to Hendrickson Park.
The equipment used at the skate park is portable, and will be moved to the concrete area in between the miniature golf course and the pool at Hendrickson Park — though village officials don’t yet know when.
“Even though the concrete surface would be a little rougher than the hockey rink, it’s still better to have our own definitive space,” said Anthony Savillo, who graduated from South High School in June.
Savillo, like many other local skateboarders, was not pleased with the park when it opened last year. Peter Costanzo, a senior at South, said he would not use the park no matter where it’s located because the equipment isn’t good enough. “I want a real skate park,” he said.
Mayor Ed Fare said he would consider building a permanent skate park in the village if there was a demand for it, but so far there hasn’t been. With the impending move to Hendrickson Park, Fare is hoping to increase membership.
“It’s not like ‘Field of Dreams’ — if you build it, they will come,” Fare said. “People have to know where it is and what it involves.
“I think you get an increased visibility,” he added of the new location. “Now it’s an open area with concrete and blacktop.”
According to Village Clerk Bob Barra, the skate equipment is getting very little use at the hockey rink, and village officials want it in an area where more kids congregate. “We were constantly monitoring it and we were looking at it, and we weren’t getting our bang for the buck there,” Barra said, “so we decided that we needed to change it.”
Sixty-one people have signed up for the skate park since it opened, but 34 of those memberships expired in August, Barra said. There are currently 27 active members.
Barra added that the park would be open during the same hours at Hendrickson Park as it is now, and, like the current location, a member of the Recreation Department would be there to supervise the activity.