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Cooper Union's Improvised 'Skate Ramp' Covered in Spike Strips

By Patrick Hedlund | July 22, 2010 3:39pm | Updated on July 22, 2010 3:47pm

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

EAST VILLAGE — The Cooper Union is ramping up efforts to keep skateboarders from using the school’s quirky new academic building as a playground.

Spike strips now cover a sloping concrete bank that had become a popular skate spot on the college’s architecturally distinctive building on East Seventh Street.

“They were driving us crazy,” said a security guard at the Cooper Union on Thursday, explaining that whenever employees would chase the skaters away, they would return “five minutes later” to let loose on the ramp.

The guard added that police recommended laying down the metal strips to thwart the rogue riders, and now a sign posted next to the bank warns skaters to take their wheels elsewhere.

The accidental ramp also created an opportunity for passersby to slide down the polished concrete column.

“It was a fun place to skate,” said Val Perre, 13, of Gramercy, as he rode around the Open Road skate park on East 12th Street near First Avenue Thursday.

“There’s not even that many skate spots around the city,” he added, noting that security at the Cooper Union couldn’t easily see skaters using the ramp. “You get kicked out of every spot.”

But others understood that the impromptu spot wouldn’t last.

“They have to do what they have to do,” said Antoine Ray, 15, a skater from the East Village. “I guess they think it’s destruction of property.”

He noted that parks like Open Road are a great place to practice, but that skaters need to be able to “take tricks you learn to an actual spot on the street.”

A skateboarder rides on the Cooper Union ramp.
A skateboarder rides on the Cooper Union ramp.
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The guard added that if the spike strips don’t deter daring boarders, security will.