Designer tours Crowell Lot, proposes smaller skatepark for Brattleboro
BRATTLEBORO -- The landscape architect who was hired by the town to design the new skatepark for the Crowell Lot was in town again Thursday to talk with supporters, and opponents, about the project.
Mike McIntyre, who lead a similar meeting in town last month, held a meeting at the Western Avenue park at 5 p.m. to unveil some of the changes he is proposing and also to show riders, parents, neighbors and town officials how his plan is going to fit into the geography of the park.
Throughout the meeting Thursday McIntyre, and Recreation and Parks Director Carol Lolatte, stressed that all of the plans are still preliminary and they said the drawings are likely to change again as the town collects more input on the design of the park.
Still, McIntyre said he has been listening to the concerns and input from the people in Brattleboro and his newest plans show a smaller skatepark that conforms to the tight sliver of land on the western edge of the park, and which proposes to better integrate the skatepark into the rest of the Crowell Lot.
Showing preliminary plans for the controversial park, McIntyre said he is recommending reducing the overall size to about 8,500 square feet from the approximately 11,00 square feet that was originally considered.
The drawing that he had Thursday shows a narrower entrance area that would better protect the trees that stand on either side of the entrance off of Western Avenue. The new drawing also shows a gravel walkway that circles the skatepark, and which continues around the rest of Crowell Park.
The walkway through the park is not included in the budget and the town, or the skatepark supporters, would have to raise additional funds to make it happen.
The plan would also have to be approved by the Brattleboro School Board, which owns the park, and the Brattleboro Development Review board.
Once construction starts McIntyre said it will only take workers about 90 days to build the park. Lolatte said the rest of the park will likely have to be closed during the construction.
At the last meeting in September McIntyre said he listened to input from a number of area skateboarders on proposed features of the new park and about the general layout and flow of the facility.
At the meeting Thursday McIntyre offered more details and unveiled some specific designs that the audience at the meeting considered.
About 50 people showed up to the meeting, with about half of them wearing "Resite the skatepark" buttons, and asking question about the design and about how the park will affect the rest of the area.
Lolatte said public input would be important as McIntyre continues to refine the plan.
Supporters of the skatepark still need to raise about $200,000 before McIntyre's plans can be put into action.
The town has agreed to support the park but the Selectboard has asked supporters to raise all of the money needed to build the park.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at email@example.com or at 802-254-2311 ext. 279.
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