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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Local skate park ready to open

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Devin Mills of Dirty Bearings practices his moves at his new skate park. Mills along with Jordy Parker plans to officially open Dirty Bearings today.
SIKESTON - After years of commuting to Memphis and St. Louis, area youth (and their parents) will finally have the convenience of a local safe and legal skate park.

Dirty Bearings, scheduled to open on Wednesday, was founded by Sikeston High School students, Devin Mills, 16, and Jordy Parker, 15. It's believed to be the only skate park in the history of the city of Sikeston, they said.

"We never had a place to skate," Mills said. "We kept getting kicked out of all the places we tried to skate. The closest place we could go was Memphis or St. Louis."

Mike Mills, Devin Mills' father, said the boys have worked hard to make the skate park happen.

Mills and Parker, with the help of their friends, started their project in early December, but have been designing and planning longer, Mills' father said. The boys found the building they wanted to rent around Jan. 1. With the financial help of their parents, they were ready to begin their creation.

"The kids went looking for buildings," Mills said. "They found one owned by Larry DeWitt and he was more than willing to clear out the area."

Mills, who has been skate boarding for three years, said he expects a big turnout. "Even if people don't skate, I think it will get them started," he said. "We're also having video games and a concession stand." Aside from skate boards, rollerblades and bicycles are also welcome, he said.

Safety is definitely a concern for Dirty Bearings, Mills said. Skaters 18 and older are required to sign a waiver, and those under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver for them before they can skate. Everyone must wear helmets, too.

In addition to skating, Dirty Bearings, which was named by one of Mills and Parker's friends, will also offer merchandise, such as T-shirts and skate trucks, wheels and boards. Mills said they would also plan on bringing in professionals to perform skating shows and local bands to perform concerts on the weekends. Above all, he said, it will be a great place for kids to hang out.

Since Dirty Bearings is just opening, Mills is still unsure about the hours of operation. He said, right now, it looks as though they'll be open Sundays from 1-9 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays from 4-9 p.m., Fridays from 4-11 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Cost of admission to Dirty Bearings is $8 per session or a monthly membership of $40.

Dirty Bearings is located at 157 East Murray Lane, behind Fisherman's Net and next to the bus station. They can be reached at 573-471-6100. In the future, visit their Web site at www.dirtybearings.com.

"It's a cheap baby sitter," Mills' father joked. "Where else can you drop your kids off for eight bucks?"