Mount Airy began the demolition of its Center Street skate park last Friday after the town discovered safety concerns in early May.
When the Mount Airy Parks Board hired an engineer to look at the structures in the skate park for potential improvements, Town Councilman Larry Hushour explained to the Times, it found the facility was in worse shape than expected.
“Dry rot, moisture damage and simply age of the 20-year-old park had left the structures in terrible, even [ir]repairable condition.
“The conclusion of the board after seeing that five of the 10 total structures in the park were ‘tear downs’ — and five were in need of repair for safety concerns — the Parks Board recommended to the mayor immediate closure of skate park until these safety-related items were addressed.”
The park has been closed since May 21.
At the following Parks meeting, Hushour said the board discussed the possibility of replacing the structures, but found it would cost about $200,000.
“The entire park needed to be torn down and we need to start over with a new skate park, or another amenity that might be more compatible or desirable to the community,” he said. “The Parks Board is evaluating how best to use this piece of the park so they may make a further recommendation to the Mayor/Council.”
Another option he said, would be to scale down the skate park and add another amenity.
The demolition began on July 6 and is expected to be completed by the middle of next week, town staff said.