Grants Pass Skatepark reopens, but locals aren’t too stoked with results

GRANTS PASS, Ore.- The Grants Pass Skatepark reopens to the public after completing renovations, but some skaters aren’t too stoked with the results.

“How can this crack not be filled and these ones are?” Skater Blaize Chambers said.

“It would have been better if they had just done nothing and left it alone,” Skater Greg Madsen said.

Earlier this year, NBC5 reported that the Grants Pass City Council approved of a $200k contract with Freedom Builders to renovate the Grants Pass Skatepark. The City Council hoped to extend the life of the park by at least five years, but locals say, they’ll be surprised if it survives the summer.

“The actual repairing of the park is very poor,” Madsen said. “The contract said anything over an eighth of an inch was supposed to be repaired. There’s eighth of an inch cracks everywhere and bigger, there’s holes, there’s pits. They’ve put this sheen on it, the sealant, and it’s extremely slippery.”

Greg Madsen has been skating for around fifty years. He says he’s seen his fair share of skate parks. He and other skaters say they have major concerns about some of the repairs, including cracks filled with a rubbery substance.

“When it gets hot, it’ll be softer,” Chambers said.

“It’s kind of dangerous, especially, like, if you’re on a scooter. You could flip forward and face-plant,” Skater Kyle Howard said.

“Over here, after I got off that, one of these cracks turned my wheel,” another skater said.

Chambers and Howard say they’ve been coming to the park since they were kids, and they know a lot of others have been too.

“This is a place that a lot of disadvantaged youth come to, and they deal with their problems here instead of taking it to the streets, instead of robbing old ladies and spray-painting on businesses,” Chambers said.

“Doing drugs,” Howard added.

“They come here, and they blow off the steam which is very important,” Chambers continued.

“Healthy,” Howard said.

Some of the skaters say they wish the city had just asked for more public feedback before they started the renovation.

“Get the people who actually ride here involved. None of us even knew about this,” Madsen said. “We had no idea that this was going to happen until it happened and it’s not a very good showing of the City of Grants Pass in my opinion.”

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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