'Another bump' in road for Brattleboro skatepark

Brattleboro Area Skatepark Is Coming Committee celebrates permit approvals.

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BRATTLEBORO — The latest opening of bids presented "another bump" for the committee behind efforts to build a public skatepark at Living Memorial Park.

"But we'll see it through," Jeff Clark, chairman of the Brattleboro Area Skatepark Is Coming Committee. "It's just the timing of the bids and our financial situation did not match up."

Following a meeting Tuesday, Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Director Carol Lolatte confirmed that proposals from construction companies came in too high for a second time. She said the plan is to go back out to bid in November for construction in 2020.

The skatepark is permitted to be just under 5,000 square feet in a site across from a dog park. Clark said he confirmed three times with the Tony Hawk Foundation, which helps communities build skateparks as a way to promote exercise and self esteem, that a $230,000 price tag is appropriate for his group's project. That is how much had been raised for design and construction prior to issuing a request for proposals.

But now — between a new $75,000 pledge, savings expected to come due to a contractor assisting with gravel and fill, and the likelihood that companies who bid lower earlier will be available again — Clark expects to have enough for the next round of bids. He estimates about $42,000 has been spent on hiring Stantec Action Sports for the design, and the lowest bid to come in so far has been about $285,000.

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Construction companies that bid lower on the project in spring had not participated in the latest round.

"We hope to be first on their schedule for the spring," Clark said of whichever company gets the bid.

The project is said to be about 20 years in the making.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.