To secure LV skatepark’s future, advocates pursue town ownership

By Gaige Davila

For a Laguna Vista skatepark to remain usable, it may need to be donated to the town in which it lies. 

For now, the Gwen Bowl, a pool-style skatepark behind Cross Church’s Bay Area campus, has been prohibited from use by Cross Church, via a sign posted outside the fence surrounding it. Cross Church has not responded to multiple requests for comment by the PRESS regarding the Gwen Bowl.  

Eric Brattin, then-president of the South Padre Island Texas Skateboarders (SPITS) nonprofit organization which fundraised and built the Gwen Bowl in Laguna Vista in 2006, is in the process of drafting a proposal to the Town of Laguna Vista and Cross Church, with the latter donating the land to the former. 

Laguna Vista Mayor Susie Houston said she would happily bring a proposal to donate the skatepark to the town’s council once she has received it. 

“Hopefully the church will donate that small parcel of land that is so important to our Laguna Madre skaters,” Houston said. 

Houston said this proposal, once received and agreed upon by Cross Church, would be examined by the city’s attorney then presented to the town’s council. If approved by the council, the Gwen Bowl would be under ownership of Laguna Vista. 

Eric Christensen, one of the people involved in constructing the Gwen Bowl in 2006, discussed the Gwen Bowl’s future with the executive pastor of Cross Church, Abram Gomez. According to Gomez, Christensen said, the Gwen Bowl’s use was prohibited because of COVID-19 transmission concerns. Gomez told Christensen there were no plans to demolish the bowl at this point but was unsure what would happen to the skatepark in the future.

The PRESS has contacted Gomez for comment.

Christensen said whether Cross Church used it as a part of youth outreach or if the skatepark was donated to the Town of Laguna Vista, he wants to see the Gwen Bowl accessible.

“Either way, my main desire is to see that it is available to the public with no restrictions on into the future, whether that happens through the city or through the church,” Christensen said. 

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