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Longview church builds free skate park

By Allison Thomas Special to the News-Journal
July 13, 2011 at 10 p.m.

People who like to fly through the air with four wheels under them will have a place to play once the First Baptist Church of Longview opens its skateboard park.

The park is free and open to the public at the congregation's The Roc, First Baptist's recreational facility directly south of the church at the intersection of South and South Green streets.

Youth minister Chris Talleri said he came up with the idea two years ago.

"There is no Christian influence in the skate community in this town. We want to reach out to everyone," he said.

After four months of fundraising and six months working, Talleri says they are a couple of days away from completing the project and plan to open it to the public 10 a.m. Saturday. The park is next to the church's Recreational Outreach Center

Vickie Brewer, the church's administrative assistant, said that Longview needs more fun and safe places for kids to hang out. She hopes this skate park will provide that.

"We can spread Christian love. This skate park is another tool. I hope that the skate park will spread the gospel and that we will reach" young people the church does not usually touch, Brewer said about her hope of the outcome of the new park.

The skate park will have half pipes, including 6-foot and 4-foot-by-16-foot version. It will also have a 6-foot band, quarter pipes and street elements, Talleri said.

The park is slated to be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays. A time on Fridays will be added after football season, Talleri said.



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