BRATTLEBORO -- The town will host a design workshop this week to gather input on plans for the proposed skatepark at the Crowell Lot on Western Avenue.
The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Gibson Aiken Center and is open to the public.
Last month the Brattleboro Selectboard chose Action Sports Design, a division of Stantec, to design the 8,000- to 10,000-square-foot, concrete skatepark and skatepark architect Mike McIntyre will be at Thursday's meeting to introduce himself and begin gathering ideas for the design of the facility.
Members of Brattleboro Area Skatepark is Coming, or BASIC, the town's skatepark committee, have promised from the start to have the public involved with the design.
Committee member Adam Hubbard said Thursday's meeting will give the public a chance to talk about the design, and potential impact of the skatepark on the Crowell Lot.
Hubbard also said the forum is an opportunity for opponents of the project to air their concerns about the design and hear from a professional who has worked on similar projects around the country.
"Up to this point we have had the same people bickering back and forth," Hubbard said. "We don't have the credibility to say it will not be loud, but on Thursday we will have someone who has experience and maybe he will be able to address those concerns."
The design team is expected to offer its first preliminary ideas on Oct.
And while Hubbard said he hopes that people representing both sides of the issue show up Thursday, he stressed that the meeting is not the place to talk about the selection process that led the town to approve the Crowell Lot for the new skatepark.
"His goal is to get feedback from the people who will be using it," said Hubbard. "But everybody is invited to offer their concerns about the design. This is important to do now and hopefully this can be a place where neighbors who have concerns can have them addressed with the design."
Hubbard knows there are opponents who will never be convinced that Crowell Lot is the best place for a skatepark, but he said Thursday's meeting could be a good opportunity for people who might have questions to have them answered.
Supporters of a skatepark in Brattleboro have been working for more than 10 years to build the facility in town.
As the project has been inching toward a start date, opposition in some of the surrounding neighborhoods has been growing. Lawn signs against the park are ubiquitous along the streets near Western Avenue.
At the last Selectboard meeting Town Meeting Representative Andy Davis said there has never been a site selection process, and he pointed out that the Development Review Board, and the Brattleboro School Board still have to give final approval to the design before the park is built.
Supporters are also trying to raise the approximately $300,000 that will be needed to build the park.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com or at 802-254-2311 ext. 279.