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Puzzled supervisors OK grant application for Pa. skate park

March 30, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Looking at a sketch of a new skate park on Wednesday, the Washington Township Supervisors twisted the paper at various angles and admitted they weren't entirely sure what they were seeing.

Matthew Hintermyer, 15, of Waynesboro, needed no clarification, though, when he was handed the drawing.

"Lots of quarter pipes and half pipes. That's cool," Matthew said.

The supervisors this week authorized Township Manager Mike Christopher to apply for a $50,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, which could bring the park closer to reality. An anonymous donor gave the township $30,000 for a skate park several years ago.

While initially targeted for Pine Hill Regional Recreation Area on Mentzer Gap Road, Christopher said other area parks are being considered for the $109,000 worth of skateboarding equipment that could be installed in 2008.

"I wish it would be more in town," said Matthew, a sophomore at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center.

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Too young to drive in Pennsylvania, Matthew relies on a friend to drive him 20 miles north to Cluggy's Skate Park in Chambersburg, Pa.

"We haven't gone up there since last year because it's so far away," Matthew said.

He typically skateboards with four friends but said he knows about 20 other Waynesboro teenagers who participate in the activity. They often get in trouble for attempting tricks outside businesses, he said.

Carlene Willhide, who is taking over as the new executive director of the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, heard a noise outside the offices one evening several weeks ago. She went outside and found half a dozen teenagers skateboarding on the railing.

Willhide asked them to move along but was receptive to their complaints about not having a place to skateboard. She wants their voices to be heard.

"They had said they wish they had a place to go," Willhide said.

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