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Skatepark closed for safety, skaters are not deterred

Skaters aren’t scared off by “closed” signs and continue to use to park.
Photo courtesy of Randy Rataj

Due to unsafe conditions, Director of Recreation Becky Purser said the UNF Skatepark is closed.

The UNF Skatepark has been closed since before Christmas, after a ramp-coating material called SkateLite cracked from five years of wear. The cracks allowed water to penetrate and rot the wood underneath, said Purser. The park is now unsafe for use.

Purser said, because of questions with the warranty, no one is quite sure how much the repairs will cost or how long they will take. The Department of Recreation has received permission to meet with the university and officially get a quote for the cost of repairs.

Purser said although the park was paid for and built by Student Government, funds for repairs will come from Campus Recreation Auxiliary Fund and not from students.

She said many students use and love the park, but keeping the park open isn’t worth the risk of someone getting hurt.

Purser warns that entering the fenced off area is currently considered trespassing and violators will be prosecuted.

However, this hasn’t stopped people from using the park.

Two arrests have been made so far, according to a UPD Report.

Four out of five students interviewed report knowing students who still use the Skatepark. Most said they didn’t know it was closed.

Seth Herrick, a sophomore English major, said he is angry the park is closed because it’s a very unique part of UNF’s campus. He said the skateboarding community is very big at UNF and the Skatepark prevents people from skating around campus or in the parking garage.

Religious studies freshman Zach Jones said that the more people start skating around campus, the more cluttered sidewalks will get, which will result in more collisions and accidents.

A small sign aimed to ward off skaters.
Photo courtesy of Natalie Logan

Purser said she hopes the repairs will be done by February, and that the park will be up by early March. She said she feels the university is being very proactive about the issue.

“We’ll find the money, get the quotes, and let’s get this fixed,” Purser said.

Email Natalie Logan at [email protected]

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