Mothballed skate park may be declared surplus property

Mothballed skate park may be declared surplus property

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County has an item on Monday's agenda that could drastically change the fortunes of its mothballed skate park.  The order expected to be voted on will declare the Debuys Road property "surplus", and authorize the county to go out for bids and lease that complex.

The county, in partnership with the Biloxi School District, leased that facility to a movie group, expecting producers to use the complex as a sound stage for their productions. The movies never materialized. Now, county leaders say it's time to find a new use for their property.

One possibility under consideration is to add an ice rink to the complex. Ice rink supporters say they'll meet May 23 to review what it might take to lease the old skate park and create a year round facility for hockey and ice skating.

The Harrison County Skate Park on DeBuys Road closed in 2014.

"I grew up in the area and I used to to always see kids out there rollerblading, skateboarding, whatever. Never really was my cup of tea, so I never really got out there. At least it was something to do," said parent, Trey Bertucci.

However, the building may soon come back to life - as a new hockey rink. Parents like Bertucci say they're excited.

"Now that the building is just kinda sitting there, I got four kids that would love to do something there. It's hard for us to find something to do here, especially close by. So whatever they do there, I'd be all for it as long as it's family friendly and something for the kids to do," said Bertucci.

Even though some are thrilled with the thought of an ice skating rink, some skateboarders aren't happy.

"Man, It's the Gulf Coast. We'd rather see the skate park that kids will use everyday. It's an ice skating rink. I know we had hockey teams down here forever, they didn't last long. How long do you think this will last," said Andrew Strong.

But, parents like Bertucci are hoping for something new.

"I love it. We didn't get to do that often, so when the hockey teams come or whatever, they let people skate skate during the season," said Bertucci. "I know that's always something we'd like to do, so having it across the street will be great."

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