The Ollie Mountain Skatepark has reached its life expectancy. Effective immediately, the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District will close the skatepark, with talks of a new one on the table.
"It is with great sadness we announce the closure of our beloved Ollie Mountain Skatepark. This park has provided countless memories to all since the early 2000s," said Corey Torres, TVRPD district manager.
Although Torres said he understood the importance of providing a skatepark to the community, the district is no longer able to maintain the wooden frame infrastructure.
"It wasn't an easy decision, but it was the best decision right now. It is a really old park, and we feel in order to keep everyone safe, we have to close it down and start removing (it)," Torres said.
However, Torres went on to say that TVRPD is committed to rebuilding a new skatepark, which he said was an "extremely popular" facility.
"This park serves an incredible need for so many users!" Torres said. "The district plans on writing in a non-competitive grant in 2021 that will be dedicated to Ollie Mountain. With hope of partnerships throughout the Tehachapi Valley and community engagement, we are extremely optimistic this park will be even better than before."
Torres went on to say that he hopes to secure $178,000 in funding for a new skatepark. Asked if this funding would be enough to rebuild, Torres said, "It won't, but it's a good start. We are looking at other partnerships that we can reach out to in the community. Otherwise we will be looking towards budgeting for the remainder."
TVRPD will start the application process for the grant funding in the beginning of 2021, with the rebuilding of the skatepark to hopefully start later that year, Torres said.
"Really bad timing IMO (in my opinion), with COVID and the kids home all day doing schooling. My kids loved to go to the skatepark any chance they can to have some fun, get outside, and get some physical activity," wrote Donny Means of Tehachapi in a Facebook post announcing the closure.
Jennifer Stanley, whose family moved to Ridgecrest, said her teens still enjoyed the park in Tehachapi.
"We would road trip it out there often. I hope the plan is to upgrade it and not just pull it from the kids," Stanley wrote in a Facebook post.
Torres encourage the public to stay involved and informed for all updates and announcements concerning the skatepark by emailing him at email@example.com to be added to the TVRPD newsletter.