The Chesterton Park
Board has granted a reprieve to the skate park off South 15th Street--but
just for the duration of the summer skating season.
At their meeting on
Tuesday, members voted unanimously to postpone demolition of the 10-year-old
skate park, which Superintendent Bruce Mathias told the Chesterton
Tribune is at the point of becoming structurally unsound.
instruct Mathias to inspect the facility to ensure there are no safety or
The board issued
the stay of execution following an impassioned plea from skateboarder Sean
Cromwell, who originally approached the Town Council in February about
saving the park. Cromwell was one of the skaters who, over the course of
three years, helped raise funds for the park and who saw his efforts
rewarded with its construction. “It was really cool,” he told the board. “It
wasn’t what we thought it would be. But it was great and it became a huge
Cromwell said, the park is one of the venues of the annual Life Fest suicide
awareness and fundraiser held every summer, and demolishing it now would
mean that the skate competition held at it as part of Life Fest would have
to be canceled.
Adding his voice to
the plea was Chesterton resident Harry Cavallaris, who said that his
scooter-riding son uses the skate park all the time. “I know it’s in
shambles. I understand that. But if you could keep it up through the summer,
maybe we could raise donations and get some money to refurbish it a little.”
That did it. “Let
us know what needs to be done to maintain the skate park through the
summer,” Member Candy Tucker said to Mathias. “Then we’ll revisit the issue
in the fall.” But, she added, “If there’s a liability issue or it’s in
dangerous condition, that would be a problem.”
offered, “I’ll do my best to get people motivated toward the new skate
park”--whose home will be in Dogwood Park--“and make it a smooth transition.
Getting kids involved in the new one is important because there are a lot of
subtleties in getting it done right.”