The new fitness and athletic park beside the Hugh J. Boyd Elementary School in Seaside Heights is now open – and residents and visitors have been enjoying it to positive reviews. But the facility, some residents told members of the borough council, is already proving to attract commercial trainers who are utilizing it for money-making purposes and filling up the space with their customers.
One resident who came to a council meeting last week said it is not unusual to see between 50 and 60 people at the park in groups brought there by businesses using the space.
“Once the class is over, they all hop in their cars and take off,” the resident said, with others indicating their agreement.
Officials said they would begin looking into regulations to ensure the park is used by residents and visitors to town.
“I drive by and I see people, but my mindset is that it’s local people,” said Mayor Anthony Vaz. “We will meet with the superintendent of schools and see how we can regulate this. It seems like they’re using this to make money, and that wasn’t what it was meant for – it’s for the staff, students and residents of the community.”
The park was born out of a partnership between the school district, led by Superintendent Tom Parlapanides, and the Seaside Heights municipal government. While the park is open now, and free to access, a ribbon-cutting event is planned to be held Sept. 9.