STEUBENVILLE - Eastern Gateway Community College announced Monday that sled riding is no longer permitted on college property.
The large hill on the campus served as an ideal snow-day destination for area children.
Each year when winter weather hit the valley, scores of kids hit the slope where there is ample space for sledding, tubing and snowboarding.
"Sledding down the long hillside is a winter passage for generations of valley families. However, due to the recent insurance carrier directive, the college must follow the advice of its carrier and ban the activity," said Laura Meeks, college president. "We know many residents will be disappointed by this announcement."
Brianne Schoolcraft is one of those disappointed residents. Growing up in Wintersville, she always knew she could find her friends careening down the icy incline on snowy afternoons.
"I remember people started to bring ATVs and snowmobiles to pull us back up the hill because the walk was hellacious," she said.
Schoolcraft's 4-year-old son Tanner will not get a chance to enjoy the Ohio Valley tradition.
"I don't know where else I can take him to sled ride. Our yard is mostly flat," Schoolcraft said.
Many families like hers will have to seek out new hills this year.
"It's a sad day that we've had to come to this, but we must be able to work with the insurance company within their directive," said Ann Koon, EGCC director of public information.
According to Koon, injuries from sledding accidents in the past helped prompt the change in policy. A claim currently exists against EGCC's insurance carrier related to a sledding accident, but further details are unavailable since it is ongoing.
Signs will be displayed to remind residents of the ban when the first winter storm occurs.
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