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New Skate Park Takes Off on a Roll

November 25, 1998|MARK ARMSTRONG

It's true. If you build it, they will come.

The new Pleasant Valley Skate Park attracted more than 500 youngsters during its grand opening last weekend and hundreds more are showing up each afternoon this week.

Park and recreation officials say they had no idea so many skateboard enthusiasts would roll out to use the new facility.

"It was amazing--way beyond what we anticipated," said John Williamson, general manager of the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District. "We knew there were quite a few [skaters], but we didn't know there were that many."

After years of planning, it took two months to construct the 12,000-square-foot concrete jungle of ramps and rails off of Ponderosa Drive and Temple Avenue.

Williamson met Tuesday with a representative from the California Assn. of Park and Recreation Insurance, who was in Camarillo to inspect the park. To ensure that the district would be free of liability in any accidents, the district was not allowed to provide adult supervision, and a city ordinance was passed--with signs posted--requiring all users to wear pads and helmets.

Enforcing that law, Williamson said, is another matter. While some kids have shown up with proper protection, many others have not, which Williamson said is bound to happen.

"Unfortunately some of those who would like to [wear helmets], but with peer pressure they're not sure whether they want to," Williamson said.

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