The Fallbrook Project Skate Safe team is under pressure to create a safe place for Fallbrook’s skaters to enjoy their favorite pastime without the fear of trespassing, and the group has recently found a location that will serve as a summer skate park.
According to Michelle Albana, a member of the Project Skate Safe Committee, the Fallbrook Boys & Girls Club has offered its grounds as a temporary skate park location.
“School is almost out. We really need to get the Boy’s & Girls Club up and running so the kids are safe and legal this summer,” said Albana, who has a son who is an avid skater.
According to Albana, Abe Oliveras, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of North County, said it would cost approximately $34,000 to add the skate area to the Boys & Girls Club. This would include $1,600 in additional insurance coverage, $20,000 for portable equipment with a storage box, and a staff person to run the park. After the first year, Albana said the cost for the park will be $14,000 for insurance and staffing.
To raise the necessary funds, the Skate Safe committee is seeking community sponsors, as well as grants from the county and state for the needed equipment. Albana said that skaters using the park would have to pay an additional fee to use the park area, which would be on top of the yearly Boys & Girls Club membership fee of $30.
“We would like the Boys & Girls club park to be done by mid to late June,” said Albana. “We are currently looking for a local company that will help us grade and pour asphalt on the location that will serve as part of the skate park. We are looking for donations to help us raise money for the moveable skate equipment, which will be located on one of the basketball courts to provide more room for skaters.”
More community speakers are being sought to help determine exactly how many skaters would actually skate at the park, as this information is being requested by the County Service Area No. 81 advisory board (CSA 81).
“We are trying to get a property for the skate park to be a priority on the CSA’s list,” said Albana. Currently, the owners of nine properties in Fallbrook have shown interest and willingness to sell for the use of a skate park.
CSA 81 chair Wicker Gamble asked to see how the Boys & Girls Club works out before fully committing to help with the skate park, and mentioned that he would like to see more information on exactly how many skaters are really interested in a skate park, she said.
“We need community members that will help us follow up with the 400 people who have signed the petition to see if they really are skaters who would use the park,” said Albana. “We think that there will be families that have two or three individuals that skate.”
However, the project committee has struggled in finding long-lasting community members to support and rally the skate park project.
“We are the fourth group to try and put a skate park in,” said Albana. “We have had a lot of people think that we are putting in a park next week. They come to one meeting, get discouraged and never come again.”
Albana understands that not everyone can help.
“It’s typical of today’s society for everyone to be busy,” she said. “Still, we need a lot more help. We need a safe, legal place for our kids to skate.”
The next Project Skate Safe committee meeting will be held on May 13 at 6:45 p.m. at the St. Peter’s school library. For more information, email [email protected].
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