ATASCADERO — After a decade the A-Town Park skatepark off Traffic Way has become an ingrained part of the community, a central resource locally for a sport that park operator Kevin Campion says has been in flux after sparks in popularity.
Key rules at his facility include some respectful boundaries, no cussing, no graffitti, and if you spit you’re banned. In all, he adds giving the sport a safe place to exercise with some discipline fosters a kind of uncle relationship between older skaters and the park’s target demographic between ages 8 and 12. In short, good clean wholesome fun with an activity that’s seen a rocky relationship with civic leaders in the past.
That’s why it’s no longer quite as remarkable as it used to be that the Rotary Club of Atascadero and management of the Home Depot on El Camino Real came to a skate park for a luncheon and tour on Aug. 29. Rotary members were there to see where the $7,500 they donated under the leadership of past club president Charles Bourbeau had been spent.
Their current president Don Idler was attending another event, but Bourbeau introduced Campion for those in attendance and noted what a rare gift it was for the community to have someone like him who could build a rapport with youth.
The staff from Home Depot, store manager Jacob Long, their volunteer team captain Matt Taloff, and store associate and volunteer Tracy Foster needed no refresher on the facility as a dozen of them had spent long hours doing intense refurbishment and maintenance on the interior, floors, outdoors and skate structures with $8,500 in store credit to spend on materials.
“We actually have a little bit left on account for them,” Long explained, adding that the team had removed aout 15 years of grease from the concrete floors and put down a top coat that should last another 10 years.
For a demonstration on the new surfaces, Scotty Strong, 43, Claire Parks, 11, and Hayden Castro, 8, donned their safety gear to show what they could do.
Outside, Campion gave the visitors a look at a couple of ramp structures that had gone through various stage of rebuilds since being rescued from various backyards and aborted Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student endeavors.
He was exuberant however about the ramp under construction, currently a wooden skeleton against the building’s back wall.
“You know a ramp is like the heart of the sport,” he said, comparing the structure to a fishing hole, a spot where folks congregate to relax and have fun while partaking in an activity.
This ramp, he said, would probably take another month in on-and-off construction, but was being built to the highest standard, with a deck surface that cost $5,000 alone to purchase.
“We’re doing this one right,” he said. “It will be an example of what a ramp is supposed to look like.”
The Rotarians have arranged for a logo to adorn the finished structure upon completion.