Skatepark dismantled, put in dumpsters before new spot settled

by Trish Rudder

Donated and grant-purchased skateboard park equipment has been removed from the Berkeley Springs Skatepark near the old Bath District School.

Lotus Recovery Centers chief marketing officer, David Stup said last Thursday, August 19 that he spoke with Morgan County officials regarding the dismantling of the Berkeley Springs Skatepark that was located on the Lotus property.

The torn-down skatepark, with the metal pieces cut apart, landed in two dumpsters last week by the Lotus contractor. The skatepark committee was in the process of deciding on its new location since the skatepark was on the property purchased last spring by Lotus Recovery Centers.

The old Bath School building and 3.2-acre property was purchased by Lotus from the county last May. It is to be used as an impatient addiction treatment center in town after renovations.

Stup said he could not comment on the removal of the skatepark. He directed this reporter to Morgan County Commissioner Sean Forney regarding its relocation.

Dawn Beal, director of Morgan County Parks & Recreation said a meeting was scheduled for Wednesday evening, August 18 to discuss where to move the skatepark.

Last week, Commissioner Forney said the Parks & Recreation meeting was supposed to discuss where the skatepark could be moved to, but the members learned on Wednesday that the skatepark was torn down and put into dumpsters.

He said Stup and co-worker Jeffrey Frank, Lotus director of real estate and corporate business development, were “distraught.”

“It was a big misunderstanding,” Commissioner Forney said, “and they felt terrible about learning that the metal bleachers and metal ramp were cut apart and thrown into the dumpsters by the contractor.”

Forney said Stup and Frank want to get the equipment replaced and want to work with the skatepark committee, Parks & Rec, and the county to get the skatepark a new home.

Financial assistance was mentioned, Forney said.

“They were very apologetic,” he said.

Beal said the skatepark had been on the Green Street property for at least 10 years. She said at the Wednesday night meeting, there were discussions about where a new location would best serve the community.

It was suggested the skatepark could be relocated south of town at the U.S.522 13-acre Ballfield Complex, and another site suggested was in town on Biser Street, both county-owned properties, said Beal.

Forney said the skateboarders are old enough to drive, so the ballpark suggestion would be a good place for the skatepark and would not be too far away to get to.

Beal said when she had ridden by the skatepark, she saw at least “15-20 kids of all ages,” there.

She said the older kids would help the younger kids learn how to ride a bike or learn how to skateboard.