For more than three years, Moundsville Mayor Eugene Saunders and his team worked to raise more than $10,000 to build a park designed for skateboarding, with Wednesday slated as the site's official opening.
Saunders and city Parks and Recreation Director Marc Baker were more than a little disappointed upon their Wednesday arrival at the park, as they found some damage to the recently installed skating rails and ramp.
"We have been trying to do this for three years. All these kids had to do was stay away for one more day," a frustrated Saunders said. "If there is any more destruction, these kids won't have a park."
Saunders and Baker said the rail's concrete foundation did not have enough time to properly set, so it sank too far into the ground when someone rode their skateboard on it. Saunders also found what he believes is intentional damage to the skating ramp, as it has a very sticky substance all over its surface.
"There is no way to fix this, except to pull it out and do it over," Baker said.
Saunders said he spoke to students at both John Marshall High School and Moundsville Middle School regarding the skatepark. After forming the Moundsville Skate Park Initiative, he and his team raised more than $10,000 for the park.
"We'll get it fixed up. It's just frustrating right now," he said.
Unlike the Wheeling Skatepark, the Moundsville site will not feature a bowl, according to Saunders. He said the community wanted a flat park. The park contains two skating rails, a ramp and a "fun box," according to Baker. It features lighting so it can be used after dark, although the park closes at 10 p.m. through the week and at 11 p.m. on weekends.
Saunders said organizers plan to expand the park with additional elements over the next few years, adding this will probably take at least another $10,000. He also hopes to purchase "sound barriers" to prevent noise at the park from disturbing neighbors.
"We had 15-20 skaters out here one day last week with just the box and ramp, so the kids want to use it," Baker said.
The Moundsville skatepark is at 300 Mulberry Ave., near the Four Seasons Pool.