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Skateboarders May Soon Have a Place to Take Their Wood in Rochester

The owners of the South Street Skateshop are talking with city officials about the need for a "destination" skatepark that will get skateboards off streets, curbs and private property.

Officials in Rochester, Farmington Hills and Auburn Hills are in preliminary discussions about building a regional skatepark.(Patch file photo)
Officials in Rochester, Farmington Hills and Auburn Hills are in preliminary discussions about building a regional skatepark.(Patch file photo)

Skateboarders could have a specially designated place to practice their half-pipe maneuvers in Rochester or one its neighboring communities.

Business owners Von and Linda Gallaher, owners of the South Street Skateshop, are working with city officials to create a destination for skateboarders to take their wood, the Oakland Press reports.

By “destination,” the Gallahers aren’t talking about throwing down a few ramps and rails on a slab of concrete and calling it good, as they say too many municipalities do.

“If you’re going to do something, do it right,” Von Gallaher told the newspaper. “Let’s do it the way the kids really want it.”

The Gallahers previously ran the South Street Skatepark for eight years until their lease expired in 2013 and they decided to focus on the retail end of their business.

But that left skaters with no place to practice their tricks.

“We just need to give kids a place to do their thing,” Von Gallaher said. “Get them off the streets, get them off the curb, get them off the private property. It’s a litigious society.”

Talks with the city are going well and a committee has been formed to further research the proposal, Rochester City Manager Jaymes Vettraino said.

“It probably should be thought of as a regional attraction,” he said. “We’ll be working with our neighbors at Rochester Hills and making sure that we pick a good site between the good communities.”

City officials are talking with their counterparts in Farmington Hills and Auburn Hills to gauge their interest in a regional project

Planning is in the initial stages and there’s no estimate on when the skatepark might be completed.
Richard Cranium March 30, 2014 at 06:52 PM
So not in Rochester under any circumstances? It's ok to be a NIMBY. Most of us feel that way. Maybe they can pay for the skate park with oil drilling revenue.
RG March 30, 2014 at 11:41 PM
Why not put the skatepark in a city park such as Borden Park, Bloomer Park or Spencer Park; similar to the Velodrome. The cost of a yearly pass at Bloomer or Spencer is pretty cheap for a Rochester/Rochester Hills resident.
Sue March 31, 2014 at 01:11 AM
The OPC is paid for through a VOTED MILLAGE and various grants for programs, user fees and serious fundraising. Do you skateboarders have anything similar to offer? The Velodrome - here's the info from the Rochester Hills website: "The IVBP was paid for by private donations, built by volunteers from the cycling community, was given to the city of Rochester Hills, and is operated daily throughout the summer by a crew of dedicated volunteers. The IVBP is a 501c(3) non-profit organization with all monies administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester through the Mike Walden Velodrome Fund. IVBP operational costs are covered by private tax-deductible donations, track & bike use fees, ticket sales to races, and sales of IVBP logo items. " http://www.ivbp.org/ Are you looking for that kind of a deal? You build, you operate it with volunteers, raise money for it and have fundraisers? It doesn't sound like that's your vision to me.
Sue March 31, 2014 at 01:13 AM
Also, Rochester does not have oil drilling revenue. I suggest you start fundraising.
RG March 31, 2014 at 08:37 AM
I am just someone with an unbiased opinion, trying to brainstorm.

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