Brattleboro skatepark price could jump $80K

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BRATTLEBORO — A skatepark being designed for construction in the spring may be $75,000 to $80,000 more than originally anticipated.

"It could be more, it could be less," Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Director Carol Lolatte told the Select Board.

Her department is looking to get a Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative Community Grant through the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. On Tuesday, the board approved applying for a grant of up to $85,000.

Stantec Action Sports is coming up with a design.

"Preliminary numbers came back pretty high between what we have and what they're saying that we need," said Jeff Clark, chairman of the Brattleboro Area Skatepark Is Coming Committee.

He said the Tony Hawk Foundation has estimated that construction will cost $46 a square foot.

"Stantec is at $50 up to $70 (a square foot)," he said. "There's a disconnect between these two groups but we did our homework throughout the years and made sure we've put our best foot forward. I've never built a skatepark before in my life but this is where we sit."

Clark said the committee recently held "two great meetings" that focused on the park's design and solicited feedback from more than 20 people including neighbors, skaters and supporters. The site will be next to the dog park at Living Memorial Park.

Lolatte plans to reassess pricing with Stantec.

"We will be pulling out what we see as not needed, considering what they gave us for things listed," Clark said. "We'll also be reaching out to our local community to understand real numbers in Brattleboro for what it takes to put in the line items — you know, the concrete, walls and other things — and see about in-kind donations.

Maybe we can get some help from resources we have here."

Lolatte said local permit conditions will need to be met around landscaping and construction. The grant program makes $100,000 available to communities so she expects to ask for $30,000 to $35,000.

Board member Tim Wessel called the news "disappointing, obviously."

More than $230,000 has been raised for the skatepark. Town Meeting members approved $60,000 for the project in March, three times the figure the Select Board had recommended.

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

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