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Story Last modified at 9:38 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Proposed skateboard park relocation a bad idea

I am writing because I am concerned that a possible move of the of the Eagle River skateboard park to the proposed location close to Eagle River Elementary School would be detrimental to the school, which one of my children currently attends. I am concerned with this choice of location due to its proximity to the school and its playground, and the potential for vandalism such a move would incur. Due to its highly visible location in the center of town, this school already has a high potential for vandalism, and has happily avoided it so far, for which the parents of students who attend this school are grateful. Additionally, many parents, students, and faculty worked very hard to implement and plant a school garden this year, which is another cause for vandalism concerns.

An additional concern with this move is the safety of Eagle River Elementary School students. I would assume this is something that has been addressed in various meetings considering this move, but as the process has not been very public thus far, I cannot say that for certain. I worry about that students having access to the skateboard park area during recess, and about possible confrontations between those using the park and students using the playground, even during the summer, when school playgrounds routinely serve as parks for local children. Again, I have no idea whether the plans to move the park have any provisions to deal with the skateboard parks during school hours, or possible confrontations between those using the skateboard park and those using the playground.

In short, I do have concerns regarding this move, and think it should not move forward without public input. I very much believe Eagle River should have a skateboard park; I just question the wisdom of the proposed location in such close proximity to an elementary school.

Sharon LaRue,

Eagle River

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, June 9, 2010.