Brattleboro skatepark rolls forward

Wednesday January 23, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Supporters of Brattleboro's skatepark will mark an important milestone next month as the skatepark committee gets ready to approve a design for the long-debated facility.

Brattleboro Area Skatepark is Coming, or BASIC, is scheduled to meet on Feb. 7 and the committee might hold a final vote on the design submitted by ASD/Stantec that night.

Once the committee has endorsed a design, the plan will have to go before the Brattleboro School Board and the Selectboard for final approval. Those meetings will be the final public hearings on the controversial plan, and will leave only the challenge of raising the money for the skatepark ahead for supporters.

The town zoning administrator and chairman of the DRB also have to approve the final plan.

And the Brattleboro Tree Advisory Committee has also expressed an interest in weighing in on the final design, though the committee only has an advisory role and does not have the power to reject the plan.

Recreation and Parks Director Carol Lolatte said the town is hoping to move the plan forward.

"Once the design is approved the next step will be to go through the permitting process," said Lolatte. "Before we do that we want to make sure all of our i's are dotted and our t's are crossed."

Lolatte said the committee is considering two different designs.

One has a bowl and the other does not and she said the town is still waiting to get final cost estimates from the skatepark architect Mike McIntyre.

Original estimates put the cost of the skatepark at around $300,000.

The Brattleboro School District owns the Crowell Lot, the proposed site for the skatepark. The school board has to approve the final design as part of the agreement worked out between the town and the school district.

In July 2011 the DRB approved the skatepark for the Crowell Lot, but the zoning administrator and the DRB chairman will still have to sign off on the final plan to make sure that it adheres to the intent of the approved plan.

If the final plan is considerably different than the plan the DRB approved in 2011 the DRB might be asked to have another look at the design.

The Selectboard will have the final say on agreeing to site the skatepark in the Crowell Lot.

BASIC Vice President Dennis Wygmans said the committee held a series of public meeting to get feedback on the skatepark design and he said the committee is ready to move forward with the final design.

The meetings were productive, Wygmans said, and the final design will offer something for every level of skateboarder.

"We collected a lot of information. The kids and adults were excited about this," said Wygmans. "This is a big step. We've been waiting a long time for this."

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 279, or You can follow him on Twitter @HowardReformer.


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