Boarders on base have new home

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Volunteers install a section of the new skate park here April 9. The park includes a mini half-pipe, a quarter-pipe and a grind box. The skate park is located next to the teen center in the Spangdahlem housing area. (Courtesy photo)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Volunteers install a section of the new skate park here April 9. The park includes a mini half-pipe, a quarter-pipe and a grind box. The skate park is located next to the teen center in the Spangdahlem housing area. (Courtesy photo)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- In an effort to boost morale, Airmen around the base, along with the Spangdahlem Outdoor Recreation staff, volunteered their time to build a new skate park in the Spangdahlem housing area.

"It has taken a couple of years, but finally we have a new park that anyone on the base can use for recreation," Outdoor Recreation Director Jeffrey Heagerty said. "We had 20 volunteers from around the base come and help us construct the park this past weekend."

The park was built on 6,175 square feet of asphalt next to the teen center. Mr. Heagerty worked with the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron to acquire the location and the asphalt to begin the project.

"There used to be a skate park here, but it was poorly designed and had many hazards, making it impossible to actually skate," Mr. Heagerty said. "The park was mainly used by teenagers who would just hang out there and would get into trouble because it was hidden behind old housing units."

Many hazards can stop a skateboard in its tracks, whether it is pebbles or broken glass.

"My ultimate goal was to get a better skate park for the people who actually skate." Mr. Heagerty said. "Typically, the (children) who come to skate will begin to police the park to keep it in good condition for other boarders.

"Since the old park was unusable, I asked the 52nd CES to demolish the park so we could build a new one," he added.

The demolition of the park was actually in the works because the 52nd CES was tearing down old housing units and the park to make way for the expansion of the new child development center. Since the skate park's demolition was already planned, the 52nd CES agreed to allot a new plot of land for the new skate park.

"I asked them to make the park in a more visible area, so teens would not be able to use it to sneak a cigarette or get into other trouble," Mr. Heagerty said.

The 52nd CES agreed and the new location was ready by October 2010.

After the agreement on the new location, Mr. Heagerty began looking for skate park designs.

"After looking at a lot of different companies and designs, we finally decided on a bolt-together design," he said.

"It took a while to get Phase I completed, but now skateboard enthusiasts on base can use the park for recreation," he said.

The "Phase I" construction project consisted of a mini half-pipe, a quarter-pipe and a grind box. This equipment only takes up one-third of the allotted park space, so there is plenty of room for expansion.

"We plan on adding more elements to the park as funds are available. This is just the first step," Mr. Heagerty said. "The skate park will be a continually evolving quality-of-life improvement for Airmen and teenagers alike."