It would be a crying shame if the town of North Elba was forced to give away the skate park that now sits at the Thomas Shipman Youth Center.
Instead, the equipment at the park should be moved to a more central location, such as along the shore of Mirror Lake. There are several spots that would be suitable to place the skate park - and it would be an added attraction to the Main Street genre.
Granted, the town would rather not give the skate park away and has been trying to find other options. Perhaps that option lies in the village and other local leaders stepping up and making a move happen.
The skate park could be yet another draw for Lake Placid, not just for locals, but for visitors too - kids would have fun while their parents went shopping.
But more importantly, our local children who enjoy skateboarding will not be deprived of an activity they enjoy. Besides, the town of North Elba secured grant money for the park, and it's beyond any scope of logic that it's been sitting unused, getting rusty as officials now consider giving it away. If that does happen, the track record of misused grant money should be worn as a blemish, a Scarlet Letter of how a community wasted away money that was given for the benefit of kids. Shameful.
The park's current location was doomed to failure. Let's for a moment, not consider the fact that there's an insurance issue with the park being on school property, and in order for it to be open, a guard/monitor must be on duty, and what kid wants to be on constant watch? Instead, remember, kids like to be seen when "in action" and skateboarding is now a national sport. Yeah, many of the kids who skateboard dress differently, but that's not reflective of who they are. They are children of residents of this community. These kids want to be seen and showcase their skills. And having the skate park along Mirror Lake would just add to the diversity of activities.
Who knows, maybe Lake Placid will someday host the Junior Skateboarding World Championships (if and when they are formed). And it all could start by keeping the skate park in Lake Placid.
If the skate park was near the beach area, it would be a stone's throw away from the Lake Placid Police Department - so the chances that kids would stir up trouble, would be unlikely.
Leaders of the town and village should jump on this opportunity to save face - move the skate park. Do not give it away. Avoid the shame.
Voice your opinion on the skate park on the current poll on the Lake Placid News website at www.lakeplacidnews.com.