SANDUSKY, Ohio — Sandusky skateboarders, scooters and BMX riders have shared their concerns about safety at the Sandusky Skate Park over the past several years, wondering when the park will finally be replaced or extensively rebuilt.
Shane Jones told News 5 he's been using the skate park since he was in the seventh grade and said spot repairs at the 20-year-old facility are just not enough to ensure safety. Jones said the city has been promising to replace the park for years, but each year there's been little action.
“It's inside, what you can’t see is the real problem," Jones said. "A wheel can get wedged up in there and you never know, a child could riding a scooter can hit that spot and their face goes in all those little cutouts in the ramp.”
“They make temporary repairs, but a couple more runs and it’s popping back out, you’ve got screws coming out. I went up, turned, and a nail caught my wheel. I hit the ground, looked back up and there was my board still on the ramp.”
Robert Weissman has used the Sandusky Skate Park for years and hopes the city will finally move forward.
“I am very grateful that we have a skate park in general," Weissman said. “There’s so many weird little bends that screws are going to come pop out. The eggshell, I won’t go near, the thing is dangerous. There’s so many of these little like, it’s just terrifying to me."
Sandusky skateboarder Madison Jordan had her own ideas on how the skate park can be improved.
"I’m afraid to use the park, I’ll skate around the flat pieces, but I don’t use any of the ramps," Jordan said. “Make like a mini ramp, or even a bowl, fix the eggshell, make it out of something different so it doesn’t have the same issues.”
News 5 shared skater safety concerns with Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser, who quickly showed us newly designed skate park rebuilding plans. Wobser said if the plans are approved with legislation from the seven-member Sandusky City Commission, a rebuilt skate park could be up and running sometime in 2023 utilization of federal pandemic funds.
Wobser explained what cause recent skate park replacement delays,
“Sandusky was one of the hardest-hit cities in the state financially by the pandemic due to the closure of Cedar Point, so we suspended all of our capital projects for a two-year period," Wobser said.
“We’re going to go back to the commission to get legislation to actually purchase and install this equipment, as well as some amenities like shade structures. It will probably be up to a 12-month period that it will actually take to order and get the equipment because a lot of things are on backorder and get it installed.”
Meanwhile, Jones said the rebuild at the skate park needs to happen as soon as possible and should include a traffic redesign.
“What happens if a kid is looking this way and pulling out and the next thing you know we have a collision," Jones said. "Who knows what could be the outcome of that.”