A bored teenager will always find something to do — either constructive or destructive. But with a newly planned skate park in Crozet, young skaters soon could have a place of their own creation.
When a group of young teens was caught setting small fires and painting graffiti at the former location of Barnes Lumber a few months ago, police and fire investigators didn’t see malicious future criminals. Instead, they saw a need to help young people develop a sense of community.
Not wanting the teenagers to go through the court system, Albemarle County police Officer Andy Gluba instead sought a way to help the young skaters build their own skate park in Crozet. Little did he know, Sk8Crozet — a group dedicated to making Crozet a more skater-friendly place — also was interested in creating a park.
The future skate park — which will be a non-permanent pilot park at first — will be located in a small square of the parking lot by the back basketball court in Crozet Park. Along with Sk8Crozet, Gluba also reached out to the park’s board to see if the skate park could be put there because of its central location.
For the time being, the park will consist of small, easily moved components — such as rails and other small obstacles. By gathering data about who uses the park and how they use it, the park’s board can determine whether a permanent park would be appropriate, according to the board’s president, Kim Guenther.
“By permanent, it doesn’t mean it would be at Crozet Park,” Guenther said. “I don’t know if we have room. It could be somewhere else in Crozet. But this pilot will allow us to just do a little data gathering.”