Steelton Skatepark – Project Concept
As you may have heard, Steelton Borough is in the process of building a skatepark over currently underutilized courts at Municipal Park. The skate park will be the only park of its kind in the area, making Steelton a destination for action sports enthusiasts, events, tournaments, and camps.
The park is being designed with the input of skaters both young and old to provide something for everyone.
Our youth need engaging activities. Simply put, the current tennis courts at Municipal Park are not getting the job done. The Steelton Skate Park will offer structured programming to engage youth. The Borough, in fact, is partnering with Get On Board Skateboarding, a non-profit that successfully teaches youth to skate board to provide programming at the park.
Why a skate park in Steelton?
Steelton is a sports town and skateboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation. We have an opportunity to capitalize and grow business in the Borough while empowering and engaging our youth.
Skateboarding is a $2.5 billion industry that is growing. This is a market that is largely unserved in Central Pennsylvania with no active skateparks in the area. The skateboarding and action sports community in the Harrisburg Region is a large market that remains untapped. There is a unique economic opportunity to grow a niche market for an underserved market demographic that will mean economic dollars for Steelton.
The Steelton Skatepark will be the ONLY skatepark of its kind in the Harrisburg region. As such, it is designed to attract action sports enthusiasts from far and wide. Currently, skateboarders, bikers, and action sports enthusiasts must travel to York or Lancaster to access a park, some of which do not suit their wants or needs. For those who do not have the time or means to travel this distance, Steelton provides a perfect destination. Building a park will attract outside dollars spent in our community and lead to a growth in independent business in the Borough. Imagine a new retail stores like a bike shop, coffee shop, or restaurant downtown instead of the vacant store fronts that currently exist.
In order to maximize the economic development potential of the park the Borough is working closely with local businesses and organizations to have a marketing and programming plan. This includes developing competitions and events that bring in tourism dollars and generate spinoff businesses in Steelton.
The skatepark fits with the overall goal of revitalizing the Borough’s Front Street corridor as a place where independent businesses thrive. This is in conjunction with larger economic development strategies in other redevelopment zones.
The Borough has already heard from adults and youth from outside of our area who want to learn more about the park. The excitement is real!
Steelton Borough plans to develop a master plan for Municipal Park over the next year that will make the park a hub for the community. The Steelton Skate Park is just a small portion of this plan; which will be developed in concert with our residents.
What Happens Once the Steelton Skate Park is Built?
The Steelton Skatepark will not be built in a vacuum.
The Borough is working very closely with local businesses and non-profit organizations to ensure structured programming at the park is developed by the time it opens. This includes instructional camps for Steelton youth, competitions, and other special events. Specifically, Steelton Borough is partnering with Get On Board Skateboarding, a local non-profit that teaches skateboarding to youth with disabilities. Programming will be expanded to include instructional skate camps for all youth and adults alike as well as competitions that generate economic activity in the Borough.
The Steelton Skate Park Committee is charged with developing a programming plan for the park over the next 6 months. When the park is opened, a programming plan will be in place.
How will we ensure the skate park is successful?
The Borough has engaged a wide range of stakeholders to ensure the skate park is a community success. First, the Borough is working with leaders in the local skateboarding community to design a park that is exciting and attractive to the skating community. Second, the Borough has engaged local youth and adults alike to provide feedback and input on the park design. Third, the Steelton Borough Police Department and Police Chief Minium are working closely with the Skate Park Committee to integrate the park into their community policing programming.
What about potential crime and nuisance issues?
Chief Minium and the Steelton Police Department are supportive of the skatepark. In fact, Chief Minium sits on the Skatepark Committee and is developing a plan to ensure the park is safe and convenient for everyone, including residents that live in the vicinity of the park.
While it is largely a fallacy that skate parks are subject to increased crime, the Police Department in conjunction with the Skate Park Committee will implement an effective plan to keep the area attractive, safe, and free of nuisances.
What about trash and litter?
The local skateboarding community has already committed to adopting the park and keeping it clean and safe once the skate park is built. Furthermore, the skateboarding community will be raising funds to promote the park, and purchase safety equipment and boards for youth that participate in structured programming.
Who Will Use the Park?
Contrary to popular misconceptions, skateboarders range from your teenager to middle-aged professionals with significant disposable incomes. In fact, the park is being designed with the input of skaters both young and old to provide something for everyone. The skatepark community in our region is a quiet market waiting to be tapped; it includes professionals that will spend in our community, not just youth.
The Borough has already been contacted by adult professionals from the region who are excited about the skate park.
Steelton Skatepark Committee
More than twenty-five years ago, Ray Young served a local YMCA as the main contributor to one of the first summer skateboard programs in existence. Ray went on to win the 1990 Youth of the Year Award from the Camp Shikellimy Branch YMCA for his contributions as a key designer, builder and instructor for the program.
Ray has been instrumental in all aspects of the Get on Board Skateboarding program since its inception. He holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Millersville University and complements that knowledge with other disciplines and experience: eight years of study in Shotokan karate; twenty-five years of experience in coordinating, implementing and consulting on skateboarding programs; over thirty years of practical experience in skateboarding instruction; and a competitive skateboarding career that includes winning multiple regional skateboarding awards.
In addition to conceiving of and founding Get On Board Skateboarding, Ray used his education background to develop the proprietary Developmental Skate Stages™ skateology system that gives the program unique appeal and measurable success in its mission to empower children with autism and other special needs.
Work: Commercial Property Manager for Szeles Real Estate Development Company.
General back round: General Contractor, finish carpenter, painting, restoration, residential & commercial maintenance specialist, skatepark design and construction// Project management // Event management// Martial Arts instructor, 2nd degree black belt Pai Lum Kung Fu // Parkour instructor, coordination teacher // Master Skateboard Instructor.
I’ve been skating for 34 years. In that time I’ve learned the construction trade. I’ve learned and continue to study traditional martial arts & yoga. I’ve built a career in commercial maintenance and management. I’ve taught hundreds of kids to skateboard and introduced twice as many more to the activity. I have a 7 year old daughter & a daughter due to be born February 2017. I currently live in Midtown Hbg Pa……
As Vice President of Get On Board skateboarding I hope to have a long thriving relationship with the kids of Steelton & this local skate park. We intend to conduct our already successful workshops working with children with autism throughout the season at the skate park and Hope to launch a new ‘kids camp program’ !
There is so much we can do here to bring all manner of Positive Community Nourishment…. from thriving kids to proud parents. We stand to see a lot off good come from the Skatepark & I look forward to being part of it !!!
Owner of JawnPiece Skateboards
Born & Raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Skateboarding since 2000, with 10 years experience as a skateboard videographer and video editor with videos published by the “Skateboard Mag”, and “Transworld Skateboading Magazine”, along with an interview on “theberrics.com” Most recent skate film is titled “Supreme Architecture” which was filmed mainly in Philadelphia from 2014 to 2016. Owner/ art direction/ media/ sales for Jawnpiece, a skateboard company based out of Pennsylvania. 2 years of experience instructing skateboarding to beginners. Interests including hiking, kayaking, and music of all genre’s with a sweet spot for rap from Memphis, TN. Favorite cuisines to eat include, Vietnamese, Mexican, Thai, Indian, and Italian.
Steelton Borough Manager
Steelton Police Chief
Steelton Council Member