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Blue Point Family is Keeping Teen's Skate Board Park Dream Alive

The Schettino family and friends are cleaning up the former Blue Point Laundry site where Billy Schettino loved to skate.

Despite locked gates, the former Blue Point Laundry site is still an active hangout for local teenagers and a Blue Point family is intent on keeping it as cleaned up as possible as future use plans are in early development stages.

The Schettinos, whose 18-year-old son Billy was killed by a deputy county sheriff in a car crash this past March, are trying to keep the park cleaned of debris and mowed as much as possible a few times a month.

The last cleanup was last weekend and it wasn't easy as the grass was nearly thigh-high and there was alot of debris left in the area most teens call "The Wastelands."

"We want to keep it as clean and safe as possible as kids are going to sneak in here and skate," Jo Ann Schettino told Patch Friday. "We've done this several times and we'll keep doing it as we do hope it will one day house a skate board park in Billy's memory."

Friends of Billy put a memorial bench and planter on the site late this Spring in honor of the Bayport-Blue Point graduate killed on the LIE while heading to college class.

This past week news came from Suffolk County Legislator Rob Calarco's office that the county had approved soil remediation cleanup funds and that effort is expected to begin late this year or early in 2013.

Calarco, as well as other local lawmakers, have held several meetings over the past years regarding the future use and development of the site on Park Street in collaboration with the Blue Point Community Civic Association.

The group's president, Ed Silsbe, said the civic has been working on remediation plans and the idea of a park for several years.

"Our efforts seeking a skate park started a long time ago with our membership reaching out to some of the youth at the site and got an effort rolling a couple of years ago. We sought out Jack Eddginton's help in getting something rolling as well as pushing the clean up efforts," Silsbe told Patch in an email.

Local students including Silsbe's daughter, did petition efforts as far back as September, 2011, he added.

Silsbe said he's done a draft sketch illustrating what he described as a modest skate park area, picnic pavilion, parking area, restored stream and BMX bike area to incorporate the ideas of the students involved at the time.

There is also potential to put a skate board park at another Blue Point location, off Railroad Avenue, on 17 acres that is being donated for public use. Silsbe said that location may turn out to be a better skate park site as it's likely that project will go faster than the remediation of the Park Street site.

But the Schettino family believes the former laundry location would be best as it's where kids have been skating for years and it's where their son was also very interested in put a skate board park.

"We want to make Billy's dream a reality," said his mom.

John Tackleberry September 02, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Someone should SERIOUSLY think about having the soil there tested, may hundreds of gallons of cancer causing chemicals were carelessly dumped into the ground on that site. Keep it safe for the kids, get it tested.
Daniel Murphy September 02, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Who will pay for the soil to get tested? There is already a park across the street. This is a residential neighborhood, who will control the park. Teenagers and parents are already breaking the law by trespassing. Who will pay to maintain it. There is a huge new skate park in Shirley with lights etc.
kristi maurio September 03, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I think its a wonderfull tribute for a wonderful kid my son was friends with what's with all the haters as far as a skate park in shirley how are local kids supposed to get there? I am a lifetime resident of sayville and when we were kids we had an ice hocky rink skate rink boys club now there's nothing for these kids to do unless you have money instead of complaining about kids hanging out how about as a community we focus on keeping them busy !!!!!!
Vito September 04, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Dan, it is the county's responsibility. And if you have kids, would you want your kids skating is shirley/mastic.. It's 20 minutes away and the park isn't that great. We're trying to create a full resident park that everyone can attend. It's mostly for the youth. I'm pretty sure a little kid from 7-10 yets old isn't going to want to walk in an ordinary park. Now if there's a skate plaza, they will most likely be there. And such as a sake plaza there will be a brick walk way a gazebo and gardens with many trees. There will be no noise violation from the park. Before making assumptions for bad decisions, read more articles about the project that ME and MANY other people are working on. This will be done even if I end up being 30 years old and it gets finished. As long as I know I can bring my kids here I'm happy


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