Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Vandals strike at Hernando County's Stewy's Skate Park

This is one of several ramps at Stewy’s Skate Park hit with graffiti late Friday or early Saturday, county officials say.

Courtesy of Roy Link, Hernando County Parks maintenance supervisor

This is one of several ramps at Stewy’s Skate Park hit with graffiti late Friday or early Saturday, county officials say.

SPRING HILL — Hernando County Parks and Recreation workers will be spending much of the week completing repairs and cleanup after vandals broke into Stewy's Skate Park over the weekend and spray-painted graffiti throughout the facility.

Parks maintenance supervisor Roy Link said Tuesday that the vandals entered the fenced skate park, at Pioneer Park on Pine­hurst Drive, sometime Friday night or Saturday morning and wrote on walls, sidewalks and most of the skateboard ramps. Link estimated the damage at $800.

The skate park is closed while the repairs and cleanup continue.

"We're probably going to have to paint about 95 percent of the ramps," Link said. "They are pretty much a mess."

The incident remains under investigation by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Link said that there has been a marked increase in vandalism since the county took over sole operation of the park in February. In March, park workers discovered that someone had broken into the concession stand, stolen items from inside and caused damage to the restroom. Damage from that incident was estimated at $1,000.

Once operated by a nonprofit entity that ran the concession stand and was responsible for opening and closing the skate park each day, the facility is now run by the county on a "skate at your own risk" basis. It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Opened in 2003, the park was named in memory of Stewy Abramowicz, a 12-year-old Spring Hill skateboard enthusiast who in 2001 was struck and killed by a car while he was riding his scooter. For several years, Abramowicz's mother, Amber Costa, who spearheaded the effort to build the park, operated the concession stand through an agreement with the county.

After Costa's departure last year, the county contemplated closing the park because of budget concerns. But a citizen-run group called Save Stewy's Skate Park stepped in and formalized a concession and maintenance agreement with the county.

When the group pulled out in January after defaulting on its insurance, the county once again tried, but failed, to find anyone interested in taking over the operation.

Russ Wetherington, chief procurement officer for the county, said Tuesday that county Parks and Recreation officials intend to begin a new search in a couple of weeks to find a qualified person or business to reopen the concession stand.

"It would be nice to find someone who is really willing to put their heart into it," Wetherington said.

Meanwhile, Link said he expects to have Stewy's Skate Park reopened by the end of the week.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

Vandals strike at Hernando County's Stewy's Skate Park 10/09/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 7:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. On Confederate monuments, the public stands with President Trump

    National

    President Donald Trump came out strongly in opposition to removing Confederate statues from public places, saying it was "sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments."

    Tourists stand near a bronze statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, second from left, that stands inside of Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. [Photo by Mark Wilson | Getty Images]
  2. Venezuelan lawmaker tied to Rubio death threat: ‘We don’t care about you’

    Blogs

    The powerful Venezuelan lawmaker tied to a potential death order against U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio dismissed the notion late Wednesday that he has a personal interest in getting the Florida Republican killed.

    enezuelan Constitutional assembly delegate and Leader of Venezuela's ruling socialist party Diosdado Cabello, left, leaves the General Prosecutors office in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Cabello is alleging that the husband and close aides of ousted chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega ran a multi million dollar extortion ring.
  3. Top 5 at noon: Times investigation into Tampa Electric deaths; Buckhorn, others donate to move Confederate monument; and more

    News

    Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.

    Aerial view of the Tampa Electric Big Bend power station. [Sunday, August 13, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  4. Bucs and Bucks: HBO's Hard Knocks series boosts local businesses

    Business

    TAMPA — Men can enjoy yoga, including the most athletic ones. That is the message that the co-founder of Camp Tampa, a fitness studio located in South Tampa, wants to push after a few Tampa Bay Buccaneers players were shown practicing on HBO's television series Hard Knocks.

    Longtime hairstylist, Katie Ellwood styles Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander's hair last week at New Identities Hair Studio of Tampa Palms. The camera crew follows Kwon Alexander and other Bucs players during the team's training camp for the HBO show "Hard Knocks," a documentary television series about the ups and downs of an NFL training camp. [Courtesy of New Identities Hair Studio]
  5. Old Time Pottery adds store in Largo

    Business

    LARGO — A home decor and furniture store opened Thursday at 1111 Missouri Ave. N, according to a news release from the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce. This is Old Time Pottery's fourth location in the Tampa Bay area, joining stores in Kenneth City, New Port Richey and Brandon. The company, which has 41 …