Pa. skaters want place to let good times roll

November 20, 1996


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - More than 50 Waynesboro skaters, parents and community leaders frustrated with the status quo discussed ideas Tuesday night for creating a skating park in the borough.

Skateboarding is illegal on Main Street sidewalks, in borough streets and at parks, schools and most private businesses in the area.

"You name it, we've been kicked out," said one skater.

"They are ripped from place to place to place," said mother Dottie Bakner. "Is it any wonder in the town of Waynesboro that there are problems with our youth? All they want is a piece of ground to skate on."


The meeting, sponsored by the Waynesboro Jaycees at the Presbyterian Church, started with a presentation by Lynn Smith of the First Assembly of God Church in Greencastle. Smith said more than 100 skaters signed up for the "skatechurch" program held once or twice a week in the past year.

The kids paid an $8 fee, became members of the Explorers Club, which is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, and helped design, build and maintain ramps for use in the church parking lot. Three adults supervised the skaters, who must wear helmets. Smith reported no discipline problems.

The Explorers Club provided $15 million in liability insurance, eliminating a major hurdle to bringing a skate park to Waynesboro.

Several possible locations for skating were discussed, including:

  • The gym at the old East Junior High School building, which is owned by Waynesboro Hospital.
  • Parking lots at the YMCA, area schools and businesses.
  • Building a bike and skateboard park next to Cumberland Valley On Ice's planned ice rink in Zullinger.
  • Having the Jaycees lease borough property.
  • Closing off streets for skaters.

J.J. Williams of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at 43 S. Church St., himself a skater, said his church has considered copying the Greencastle program.

Parent John Camp, of Five Forks, said Memorial Park is a perfect place for skaters.

"Why is the park off limits?" asked Bakner. "Isn't that for our youth?"

"These kids get a bad rap," she said. They are unfairly associated with gangs and drugs, she said, and are harassed by police.

But Police Chief Glenn Phenicie said police only respond when called or when signs against skating are posted.

"If we don't find a place for these kids, they are going to find a place to skate regardless of what the law is," Camp said.

Council Member Vicki Huff, who has been looking for a skating solution for months, would bring the group's ideas to the full council.

Jaycees President Sherry Cline urged people interested in helping out to get involved with Youth Are Our Concern and her group.

  • To become involved, call Cline at 1-717-765-0379.
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