State College

State College Borough Council talks action sports park

State College Borough Council held a special meeting Monday night to talk about the 2018-22 Capital Improvement Plan.

Council didn’t have a quorum and so the meeting was for discussion only, with no action taken.

Among the CIP items council discussed was the proposed action sports park.

The park, which may include facilities for skateboards, roller blades, scooters and bicycles, has been contentious because Orchard Park was identified as the recommended site in June 2016.

Council removed it as the preferred site in August and directed borough staff to identify other possible sites, borough Manager Tom Fountaine said.

Locations being looked at include borough parks, borough property and potentially private property, he said.

The project has been somewhat delayed in the past year because of personnel changes in the public works department, he said.

Several residents who live near Orchard Park spoke at the meeting, voicing their opposition to it being located in that park.

James Milutinovic said he doesn’t think his or his neighbors’ voices have been heard in regard to the skate park.

A skate park shouldn’t be located in a residential area, he said.

It would disrupt the neighborhood and change its characteristics forever and not in a good way, Milutinovic said.

“It’s already taken its toll, pitting neighbor against neighbor,” he said.

Christopher Jones, who also lives near Orchard Park, said the residents want the park to remain an open, diverse green space that everybody can use.

It’s not about skateboarding, it’s about the placement of the park, he said, saying it doesn’t belong in any neighborhood park in the borough.

A potential timeline for the park was laid out:

▪ Council is slated to adopt the CIP in July and after that point can put together a subcommittee to review data, decide on key elements and site criteria for the park and evaluate potential sites.

▪ The subcommittee would then present its final report and recommendations to council in December.

▪ In 2018, council would review the report; site selection and conceptual design would take place; and grants and external funding sources would be identified and applied for/solicited.

▪ The park would see final design and construction and grand opening in 2019.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

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