Point Beach eyes August opening for skate park

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The Point Pleasant Beach skate park, nearing completion. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — With the borough’s new skate park getting closer to completion, officials are optimistic about an early August grand opening for the facility. 

The $215,000 concrete skate park at the Little League Complex, 410 Arnold Ave, was built by Spohn Ranch Skateparks. Officials hope it will provide a new recreation resource for the community. 

The borough council is expected to introduce the rules and regulations that will govern use of the park at its July 21 meeting.

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In addition, Mayor Paul Kanitra said a firm opening date still awaits criteria from a state-municipal joint insurance fund.

Former Councilman Tom Toohey, who helped spearhead the project, said he is thrilled about the park’s opening. 

“I think it’s going to do a lot for kids in our community,” said Mr. Toohey. 

With so many children and teenagers in the borough missing out on organized spring and summer sports, Mr. Toohey said the park could provide an alternative outlet for them as well as those who are just dedicated skateboarders.

“We have incredible athletes in this town that play traditional sports, and then we have a whole other group of athletes that are incredible surfers and skaters and in many of those cases, those things overlap,” said the former councilman. 

“If you look all over the country, North Carolina is a great example, there’s not a single municipality on the Outer Banks without a skate park,” said Mr. Toohey.

In Point Pleasant Beach, he believes, “It’s just going to be, overall, a positive thing.” 

Mr. Toohey has also started a small group of adults to serve as intermediaries between the desires of the council and the wider community that will use the park. Similar groups have helped guide the operations of skate parks in Neptune and Brick, he said.

“We have a local group of guys, actually all fathers, that are just going to monitor the place,” said Mr. Toohey. “We’re not the police, but if there’s a mess or anything we can take care of, we’ll serve as a point of contact that just wants to be involved and make sure that it runs smoothly.

“I think having a group of local dads that are willing to vouch for it and step up and be leaders for certain projects is just going to help.”

In the absence of insurance, rules and oversight, Mayor Kanitra is cautioning individuals not to enter the skate park before it is officially open. He said that some skateboarders have been seen doing so.

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