STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) – A skateboard park is coming to Dauphin County in a bid to keep kids off the streets.
Supporters of the project planned for Steelton’s Municipal Park hope the concrete expanse does even more for the area, like rolling in tourism dollars.
Nate DeMuro is probably not what you think of when you think “skater.”
“Maybe if you knew me 15, 20 years ago,” he said with a laugh. But DeMuro is going strong more than 30 years after he started riding a skateboard. He just can’t go where he’d like to.
“I’m 44 and I’m on private property skateboarding and not on a skateboard park,” he said.
DeMuro, who met ABC27 behind an empty office building on Front Street in Harrisburg where local skaters often meet, is on a committee working to change that.
Now, Steelton Borough leaders are moving forward with plans. Borough manager Doug Brown is on board.
“It was something that, it’s near and dear to my heart,” he said. “I’m an old skate kid and I was always into that culture.”
The 28,000-square-foot park will replace the underused tennis courts at the park, Brown said. Design and construction will run around $120,000; $30,000 for the planning and about $90,000 to build it.
About a third of the total cost comes from a county tourism grant, the rest from a county loan.
There have been stops and starts on similar projects in the past. This time, the borough manager said, the funding is in place, the project is in the final design phase, and it will be built.
“The other driving force behind this is to bring folks in from outside,” Brown said, “make this a destination for the skateboarding community.”
The borough hopes to attract competitions and camps because there simply isn’t anything like it close by. Brown said they plan to develop a marketing strategy to pitch the park to outside groups.
“Now, I’m not taking a carload of people to York or to Philly or to Baltimore,” DeMuro said. “Now, I’m meeting them at the neighborhood park.”
The skateboard park is for the kids, to give them a safe outlet. DeMuro wants one, too, for the kids at heart.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “Long time coming.”
The borough plans to start construction in the spring to hopefully have the park up and running by the summer.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.