BRATTLEBORO -- After almost five months of poring over maps, discussing criteria, and contacting property owners, the Skatepark Site Selection Committee is going to begin visiting locations in town that could potentially be the new home of a 6,500-square-foot skatepark.
The committee will meet Thursday, April 10, at 5:15 p.m. at the park at 190 Elliot St.
At 5:45 p.m. the committee will then walk down the street to the corner of Elm and Flat streets to have a look at the Elm Street parking lot, another potential site for the skatepark.
The visits, which are open to the public, will be held rain or shine.
The committee will then head back to the Gibson Aiken Center to talk about the locations and schedule the next round of site visits, which will be held on Wednesday, April 16.
The seven-member Skatepark Site Selection Committee was appointed by the Selectboard to consider every single potential site in town for a public skatepark, and then come back to the board with a recommendation.
The committee has until mid-May to offer a recommendation to the Recreation and Parks Board, which will then forward the top sites on to the Selectbaord for final approval before June 1.
All of the money, including any costs associated with site development or acquisition, will be raised privately.
The Skatepark Site Selection Committee started with 44 potential sites, both privately-owned and public or school district-owned parcels.
The committee now has eight sites on its list.
Along with the Elliot Street park and Elm Street lot, the committee is going to evaluate the Brattleboro Common and Living Memorial Park, all of which are owned by the town.
There will also be visits to the Brattleboro Union High School campus, Fort Dummer Field and Crowell Lot, which are owned by the school district.
The final site includes land along Cedar Street owned by the Brattleboro Outing Club, the Windham Foundation, the Brattleboro Retreat or the Harris Hill Ski Jump.
At the last meeting on April 3, the committee spent most of its time going over the criteria it will use when evaluating the sites.
The committee even walked behind the Gibson Aiken Center to hold a mock site review of the parking lot to see how its method would work.
The committee has approved a long list of criteria under the headings, "size," "location," "safety," "cost" and "topography."
Each consideration is given a numbered score from 1 to 5, with each member deciding on his or her own how the site meets the specific criteria.
After each visit the scores are added up and totaled.
At the end of the site visits the locations with the highest scores will be passed on to the Recreation and Parks Board.
The committee is accepting comments on potential sites, and on the process, at email@example.com.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.