The only adult-monitored skate park on Maui just got an infusion of cash from the Frost Family Fund. That means Street Course! Paia Youth and Cultural Center (PYCC) has created a street course and spectator viewing area with the $15,000 donation, acquired through the Hawaii Community Foundation.
“It’s a safe, fun, supportive, and supervised environment open to the public where adults and youth coming from a broad demographic are brought together to focus on a healthy, constructive creative outlet that builds esteem, camaraderie and individual expression,” says Susun White, Executive Director for the youth center. “It’s one of the few skate parks across the country that has a built-in life skills program for youth.”
The design of the course was a collaboration between PYCC youth, members of the Skate-Ops life skills program, the local skateboard community as well as those who actually constructed the skate surface. The construction process was a combination of hard working volunteers, some local labor as well as the tireless work of experienced skatepark builders Sky Thompson and Jesse McDowell.
The initial design of the park began in 1996, with the park opening for skating in 2003. Over the years many PYCC youth members and community volunteers have been involved in the construction of the park. Funding came from all aspects of the community- Maui County, foundations and private donations.
The generous and timely donation from the Frost Family Fund enabled the PYCC to complete the park just in time for summer. Funds from the grant were used for construction supplies, concrete, materials for the spectator pavilion and to pay for some of the labor.
The park also hosts events on a regular basis. These include musical acts, bands, BBQ style food, skate jams or contests.
“There hasn’t been a grand opening event yet, but there will be one at a date TBA shortly,” says White. “The finishing touches are currently being put on the facility, and the event is being planned.”
The PYCC does not offer structured, scheduled skating lessons, but the combination of staffing, enthusiastic and supportive youth members as well as Skate-Ops members create an friendly atmosphere that’s conducive to learning.
“Everyone helps each other out,” says White.
The skatepark is open Tues-Wed, 3-7pm and Thurs-Sat, 3-9pm.
Photo: Sean M. Hower