2014-07-18 / Community

Skatepark proposal back on the rails

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — The wheels are turning once again on the town’s plan to install a new skate park.

Last year the town approved $100,000 to build a skate park. Not yet knowing where the park would be, town administrators have spent the past year scouting at least 10 possible locations and created a rating system to help evaluate each site, said Town Manager Barry Tibbetts at the July 8 selectmen meeting.

Town administrators, headed by Community Development Director Chris Osterrieder, have narrowed the location down to two sites: Parsons Field and Factory Pasture Lane.

“We would like to concentrate on the top sites to further analyze the potential usage,” Tibbetts said.

The town looked at many contributing factors, Tibbetts said, including “proximity to public transportation, expansion potential, parking, proximity to other park elements, whether there was foot or bike access, the visibility of the site, the neighborhood, visual and sound impact, neighborhood impact, drinking water, lighting and access to first aid.”

Resident skateboarders and their families were also interviewed about preferences and possible sites. As a result of the feedback, Tibbetts said the future park will be very family-oriented.

While Parsons Field and Factory Pasture Lane are the two top contenders, Parsons Field ranks slightly higher than Factory Pasture Lane, Osterrieder said. However, if the town decides to install the skate park in that residential area, the baseball field and basketball court would have to be realigned.

The skate park would be built between the two.

The concrete in-ground structure will be approximately 6,000 square feet, said Osterrieder. The town’s other skate park, which stands just off of Factory Pasture Lane, was built almost 15 years ago with wood-based materials that many skateboarders now deem outdated.

“When you do a concrete structure in the ground, you don’t have the roaring noise,” Tibbetts said. “But what you do have is the clicking, but it’s a completely different noise and different noise level.”

“No amount of concrete muffles a screaming kid,” said Selectman John Kotsonis. “You put this over near Parsons Field, you’re going to get a lot more neighbors that are affected by this.”

The board voted unanimously to move the issue to a second reading at the July 22 meeting.

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