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A local hang-out for area teens and college students is open again.
Owner Sal Estrada said his business, Estrada Extreme Sports, at 106 Elm St., had become time-consuming, which is why he initially shut the doors.
He was finding it hard splitting his time between his job as an assistant vice president at Founders Federal Credit Union, coaching the women’s soccer team at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster and spending time with his four children.
But after hearing the reaction from residents who wanted him to revive his business, he found additional help to run the center and decided to reopen it this fall.
“We obviously had a lot of clients in the community,” Estrada said. “Every time we saw one, they were crying out for the park to reopen because there’s nothing like it in town.”
Two buildings comprise Estrada’s business.
Inside one building are several batting cages, a skate park full of skateboard ramps and a small stage, where local bands perform about three times per month.
He said the stage is a great alternative to bars for musicians who are under 21, but still want to play in public venues. He has several shows lined up over the next few months, including performances on Dec. 27, Jan. 10 and Jan. 24.
The other building at Estrada Extreme Sports houses indoor soccer fields. Estrada said an indoor soccer league was just established recently and already includes six teams.
Each of those teams has at least 10 members, which he said demonstrates how important his business has become to the community.
The soccer fields have also become popular with students at USCL. The school does not have a men’s soccer team and Estrada said his fields give those students an outlet to practice their skills.
Estrada said his business is providing many services to the community, and is also giving local youth a place to play and exercise. That’s why he doesn’t have video games at the park, because he wants to emphasize physical activity.
“We want them to be active, instead of being like at home, where they sit on their couch,” he said. “It’s good for them to stay in shape.”
An extra benefit is that it keeps some of them off the street and out of trouble, Estrada said.
“We enjoy having the business,” Estrada said. “Even some of the police officers in town would say thank you for reopening, because it’s good to have the teens there doing something, and keeping them away from the streets or alcohol.”
Estrada Extreme Sports is open Thursday and Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 to 10 p.m.
The skate park costs $6 for up to two hours of use. The soccer fields costs $30 per hour to rent.
Anyone under 18 must have a parent sign a waiver before using the facilities.
Those interested in finding out more can call 286-0950.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at email@example.com or at (803) 416-8416