Skate stoppers were added to the bottom of the pavilion stairs this month as a deterrent to discourage skateboard and scooting damage. The Rotary Pavilion at Levee Park located in downtown Hastings opened less than a year ago, but it has already sustained some damage due to misuse of its amenities, said Parks and Recreation Department Director Chris Jenkins.
"Those amenities ... were not built to be a skate park or scooter park, but people are using it for that purpose, so they are causing damage," Jenkins said.
The $575 skate stoppers were purchased after damage to the park was discovered. Jenkins said that some of the handrails near the musical playground had paint getting chipped off. The paint was meant as a protective layer to the railing material, which was not designed to be exposed to the elements.
The bottom edge of the steps that lead out to the pavilion to the north had wax from the bottom of skateboards. Jenkins said that over time, that would compound and cause more and more damage to the facility.
Jenkins said that the new skate stoppers are cast aluminum with clear anodize. They are 6-inches wide and 1/4-inch tall. Four bolts secure them to the ground.
"We tried to pattern them so that it would discourage and make it difficult for skateboards and scooters to continue grinding on those steps, but we also want to leave some clear passage lanes for people and for traffic," Jenkins said.
The pavilion is still a new facility and every taxpayer in town has invested in the park, Jenkins said. "It was not built as a skate park," he said.
However, Jenkins doesn't want to discourage skateboards, scooters or bikes. He said that those activities are more than welcome as long as the facilities are not getting damaged.
Jenkins said that he has heard community members talk about how Hastings should have a designated skate park and he is open to having a conversation about that possibility.
"If there is a group of involved individuals that want to sit down, start having conversations with me ... and be involved in the process and talk about the skating, scooting and biking opportunities and culture here in Hastings then let's do that," he said.