For the second time in as many years, the David Gentile skate park at has been shut down for repairs.
Parks and recreation director Theresa Miller said the park was closed on April 19 after a quarterly inspection revealed major repairs were needed.
“Because it’s a wood structure, and it receives high-impact use, maintenance is an ongoing issue,” she said, ticking off a list of repairs that include replacement of the skating ramp surfaces and repairing 47 vinyl posts.
Miller said part of the problem is also that kids are riding bikes in the park, "and it's not made for that."
The township closed the park back in Dec. 2009 as well and did not reopen it until July 2011, . Miller said it took that long for the repairs to be made because there simply wasn’t money in the budget for them.
The current repairs were quoted at $16,300 at the end of last year, she said. And that doesn’t include labor, which was estimated at approximately $1,800 per day.
Miller—who said she’s already gotten “an awful lot of calls” from non-resident parents whose kids have nowhere to skate—is hoping to avoid another lengthy stoppage by reaching out to local skateboarding entrepreneur Dan McCollister, owner of the and .
Miller said she’ll be meeting with McCollister in the next week to discuss funding strategies, as the business owner is interested in helping the township raise money to repair the skate park—the only skate park in Moorestown now that Black Diamond has been closed.
McCollister did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Thursday.
Miller also said she’ll be speaking with Medford recreation director Beth Portocalis, who received a significant grant from the county in the last couple years to knock down Medford’s wooden skate park and replace it with concrete.
According to Miller, township manager Scott Carew has tasked her and the rest of the Recreation Advisory Committee with examining options for the skate park, which range from keeping the status quo and continuing to make repairs as needed, to replacing it with a concrete version.
The skate park was built in 2002. It is named for David Gentile, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a football game in 1979. The park was completed with the help of a $120,000 donation from David’s mother, Joan Gentile. David died in 2001 at the age of 36.