Hampton man attempts to revitalize Plaza Roller Rink

13News Now Niko Clemmons has the story

HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- A Hampton man is trying to revitalize a roller rink in town that earned itself a bad reputation over the years.

Keith Foster is making it his mission, to turn the old Plaza Roller Rink around.

For people in Hampton, Plaza Roller Rink is often associated with violence.

In 2013, police had to break up multiple fights in the parking lot.

A leaky ceiling, and a beat up floor is all that's left at the roller rink, but Foster is up for the challenge.

“It was big part of my childhood,” Foster says. “I just want to do my part by impacting the community and showing kids a different way.”

The roller rink closed in October, and that's when Foster took over as the new owner.

He's planning a grand reopening on March 24th, with one goal in mind, changing lives.

But his vision for the building is much more than a skating rink, but a place where young people can come after school and get tutoring, be a part of mentorship programs and activities that will keep them out of trouble.

Foster says the initial costs to open to skating rink back up were between $20,000 and $30,000 dollars, but the costs have since tripled.

That's why he's reaching out to the community for help.

“Just hearing what people are saying I think what it could mean to future generations,” Foster says.

Foster says part of what keeps him going, is hearing stories from people about what the skating rink has meant to them.

So he started a GoFundMe and says the community response is overwhelming.

He's also aware of the bad reputation that's associated with the rink, and now, he wants to be a part of the solution.

“It's not going to solve the entire problem but it is a very important piece to the puzzle,” Foster says.

Right now, he's reaching out to a number of organizations, colleges, community leaders, in hopes that they'll partner with him.

He's holding a community meeting on January 28th at the Plaza Roller Rink asking for their help to rebuild what he calls an icon.

Everyone is invited.

If you would like to donate towards rebuilding the skating rink, visit the GoFundMe here.


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