Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In Skateboard Park Spot Debate, Unused School Land Emerges; McDavid Park, Owned by the School District, Seems Less Contentious Than Keystone Beach

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In Skateboard Park Spot Debate, Unused School Land Emerges; McDavid Park, Owned by the School District, Seems Less Contentious Than Keystone Beach

Article excerpt

Byline: ANNE SPONHOLTZ

With continued opposition of a planned skateboard park at Keystone Beach, Keystone Heights may take a look at idle McDavid Park, which the Clay County school district recently purchased.

McDavid Park is located between the high school and elementary school and was used for years by the Keystone Recreation Association for its baseball, softball and soccer programs. Two new parks were built in the Keystone Heights area and the school district purchased the property from its previous owner, Clay Electric.

While the location of the skateboard park has jumped all over the map, the City Council had pretty much decided it would be located at Keystone Beach. However, residents continued to protest its location there, and few council meetings went by without residents commenting on concerns about that location.

Vice Mayor Bruce Harvin said School Superintendent David Owens expressed interest in working with the city on a lease for the property.

"The superintendent said the school district would be totally on board. They would rather see a skateboard park there than have it sitting empty," Harvin said at a recent council meeting.

Owens confirmed that such an option would be both practical and good for the community. He said the board purchased the property "because it was up for sale and we will need it in the future." Property around both schools is limited and McDavid Park is one of the few remaining undeveloped properties in the area.

Owens said the property would probably be used to expand facilities at one of the schools, but no plans for such expansion were in the immediate future. Owens said he supported the possibility of an agreement with the city that would allow the skateboard park to be there in exchange for the city maintaining the property. …

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