Vandalism closes Boys & Girls Club skatepark to public

By Katie LaFluer

The Exeter Boys and Girls Club has had enough of the constant vandalism on their skate park facilities.

The club announced last week that it would no longer leave the skatepark open to the public because it was too costly to make daily repairs caused by unruly delinquents.

&#8220They would destroy skating equipment, fences, signs on the fences, and even trash cans,” said John Hobbs of Exeter Boys and Girls Club.

The facilities were remolded in early June after club members suggested pushing the ramps closer together to do more tricks. The club moved them to the east part of the property, which allowed the club to leave the skatepark open to the public after hours from 6-9:30 p.m. That decision resulted in an unsupervised skate park and the destruction of club property.

Parents were afraid to leave their children after hours at the skate park because of unruly teenagers, using profanity, and bullying smaller kids. Melinda Urton said her children were club members and often went to the skate park during club hours, but never after hours.

&#8220High school kids would be there, unsupervised and using bad language,” she said. &#8220You wouldn't find my kids there.”

The Boys and Girls Club staff have since closed the park to the public. &#8220It's a shame all the good kids, who took advantage are deprived because of a couple thugs,” Hobbs said.

The skatepark will continue to be open for club members during regular hours. Club hours are 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday once school starts next week.

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