Phase 2 Passes Inspection, Opens 11/21

“Homebase & The City of Bethlehem cordially invite you to the opening of the 2nd Phase of the Bethlehem Skateplaza on Wednesday November 21st at 3pm to bring down this fence.  Skater and Kutztown student, Peter Bezek and photographer, Jaime Heim  joined us to document the Final Inspection process.  The Parks Department, F.A. Rohrbach, David Hornung Architects, Van Cleef Engineering and a handful of very interested skaters gathered for final inspection.  Thanks to everyone who has supported the skateplaza since day one.”  -Andrew Po

Skateboarders gathered early Thursday morning to watch the final inspection of the newly completed 2nd phase of the Bethlehem Skateplaza. The tight knit group is obviously very excited to find out when it would be opening.  The verdict, Wednesday November 21st.

Dreams first came true in 2010, with the opening of Phase One of the Bethlehem Skateplaza.  Phase One was amazing but skaters could feel that there was more in store for their plaza.  Tricks like skating up the gap or grinding the top of the hubba ledge towards the end of Phase One were pretty difficult with the abrupt end of concrete leaving only a short run up.

Our hopes of rolling away from the gap and cruising to the more technical section of Phase Two will soon be a reality we’ve waited for for two years because of everyone’s support.  From fundraisers like lighting the park for a night, donations in the shop, and working hard with Ralph Carp and many other city officials together raised the funds to help complete Phase Two.

The final inspection was taken very seriously: inspecting the concrete, planning for a spring “Grand Opening,” checking the facts and then it was off to the next meeting to consult the Mayor.  A few loyal skaters stuck around to skate Phase One although we all hoped it would be possible to skate Phase Two.

We received confirmation during our session that the Phase Two would be opening Wednesday at 3pm after a short ceremony/press conference with the Mayor of Bethlehem, John Callahan.

With our spirits high and our feet warmed up the sweatshirts came off and the session continued.  Bubba flowed back boardslide to switch 50-50 combos on the bank to ledge and Gary did a quick frontside noseblunt slides on the clamshell.

After an hour long session it was back to reality.  The good session was foreshadowing of what was to come once Phase Two opens.  It kickstarted the reality that this amazing skateplaza will double in size- before Thanksgiving.

Now It’s time to celebrate.  We’re another phase closer to realizing the Po and the skateplaza design team’s full vision for a 40,000+ square foot skateplaza spanning 750 feet from end to end.  We’re only almost half way there.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and your turkey dinner may feel less than complete without a Phase Two skate session Wednesday afternoon under your belt.

- Words by Peter Bezek

See the rest of the Jaime Heim’s photos below. . .

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