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Teacher reopens Skateland for summer

June 01, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A Maryland high school teacher and part-time speed-skating coach have reopened Skateland, Waynesboro's popular roller rink, on a month-to-month basis, giving the rink a temporary reprieve from demolition.

Patty Leazier said she hopes running the rink at the corner of Buchanan Trail East and Old Forge Road will give Waynesboro area youngsters a place to go over the summer and perhaps to the end of the year if things go well.

The 68-by-100-foot roller rink opened about 25 years ago. AC&T, a Hagerstown oil company that is expanding its gas station and convenience store chain, bought it in December.

The company, which owns 14 gas stations and convenience stores, plans to raze the rink and put a gas station and convenience store in its place.

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Brad Fulton, vice president of AC&T, said in December the company would spend about $2 million to buy the property and build a 6,000-square-foot modern station, convenience store and drive-in branch bank on the property.

Meanwhile, Leazier worked out a deal with AC&T to lease the rink on a monthly basis.

"Right now I have it through the end of August. After that it will be month-to-month, possibly through the end of the year," she said.

"Even keeping it open for four to six months will give the children a place to go on Friday and Saturday nights," she said.

"I'd love to have it forever. My dream is to open my own skating rink," she said. "I hope something permanent can come from this. I don't plan to quit teaching. I love teaching as much as I love coaching skating."

Leazier has been scrambling to get the rink ready for its reopening today at 7 p.m. She and her husband, David, have replaced the disco ball, lighting and sound systems that were dismantled after the building was sold.

They also bought about 220 used rental skates from area rinks and other sources. A disc jockey will spin CDs for the weekend skating sessions and video games were set up for the arcade area.

The couple and their cadre of volunteers, mostly parents of speed-skating students in Hagerstown, have spent much of the last two weeks cleaning up the place and getting it ready, she said.

"We only had two weeks to get it ready," she said.

The rink will be open on Tuesdays from 7 to 9:30 p.m., on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the early session and from 10 p.m. to midnight for the late session, and on Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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