FOX LAKE — Once again teens and families are enjoying the Adeline Geo-Karis Skate Park on south Route 59, following an almost three-week closure due to damage discovered on every piece of equipment Aug. 23.
Due to the extent of the damage, profanity spray painted making reference to two Fox Lake police officers, officer Russell Zander and officer William Golden, the Parks and Recreation Department decided to close the park and remove the equipment to get it clean and is considering adding cameras to the park in next year's budget.
Parks and recreation coordinator Amy Serafin said closing the park was a harsh thing to do but it had to be done.
"I've never seen that much damage in that small of an area,” Serafin said. “It was on every single thing; the recycle bins, the sign... Saying [there were] inappropriate words doesn't even cover it.”
The department, Serafin said, had originally stated it would keep it closed until next spring, thinking it would take months to clean, but an unidentified company that does maintenance and restoration was able to remove the graffiti quickly, she said.
Lt. Mark Schindler said upon hearing that their park would be closed the rest of the year, many kids who regularly used the skate park came forward and asked to help clean the equipment so that it would be put back up sooner.
The young volunteers weren't able to help because of the chemicals involved in the clean up, Serafin said, but “It was really refreshing to see they were willing to help.”
The total cost to tear down, clean and reassemble the skate park was approximately $6,100, Schindler said.
Serafin said the skate park is a heavily used park and "now it's just as busy as it's always been."