POINT PLEASANT — The skatepark in Point Pleasant has been dismantled due to insurance concerns but there is hope a metal replacement for the wooden structure can be financed over time.
The park came down on Wednesday, according to Mayor Brian Billings. Though there have been no injury claims filed at the park, the insurance company will not pay any injury claims if someone was to get hurt on the wooden structure which was used when it was purchased two years ago with grant funds and donations. A metal, prefabricated structure similar to the one in Gallipolis, Ohio, could be insured and so the purchase of this type of structure is the eventual plan, according to Denny Bellamy of the Mason County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Bellamy helped champion the development of the park and said he wanted to be clear the dismantling of the park was not due to something the youth had done, it was strictly an issue with the insurance company.
Bellamy said there is currently around $8,000 set aside for skatepark maintenance which had been collected over the years though grants and private donations. It’s enough to at least purchase some pieces to a new, metal skate park but this new park will likely be reconstructed in pieces because the price tag for everything at once would run around $50,000.
One good thing, the concrete pad at the park obviously remains - $5,000 of a $15,000 grant was used to pour the 100 foot x 30 foot pad and was one of the major expenses in getting the park built. The committee to build the park raised around $4,000 in donations which helped pay the $1,800 which purchased the parts for the wooden park (the pieces were from a previous skatepark which was privately owned by a business in Ashland, Ky). Then $800 was spent to transport the parts, and nearly $400 was spent in speciality paint for the ramps.
Bellamy said the next step is to purchase what can be purchased for the new park to at least give the kids something besides a concrete pad to skate on this year. He also said he will go back to searching for grants, and in particular, hopes to apply for and get, a Tony Hawk Foundation Grant.