KENNEBUNK – The long-anticipated upgrades and overhaul to the skatepark on Factory Pasture Lane have begun.
Along with that project, currently contracted for two of three anticipated phases, a separate initiative to install sidewalks and improve the road is underway. Glidden Paving & Excavating began doing on-site prep and field work on Monday. The project is expected to continue throughout the summer.
The first two phases of the skatepark upgrades could take about four to six weeks, depending on the weather, said Deputy Community Development Director Karen Winton, but that could change. The entrance and parking for the park needs to be coordinated with Glidden Paving & Excavating, she said.
If donations continue to flow in or those in a position to do so offer some in-kind services, it is anticipated additional work beyond the first two phases could be accomplished.
The upgraded park was designed by Pillar Design Studios, who provides similar services all over the country
Artisan Skateparks of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, is renovating the skatepark. The town signed a $110,000 contract for the two phases.
There is a long history of the park on Factory Pasture Lane, with some skaters telling town hall staff that their parents helped build, rebuild, and customize the park over the years.
The park has seen a lot of use and there has long been a desire for an upgrade.
It is a popular spot for young residents and for others, who come from nearby towns to skateboard, inline skate or ride scooters and BMX bikes.
The project was intended to begin last year, but was delayed by the need for more site prep work than anticipated. There was an upside to the delay, however, as fundraising has continued.
In August, a fundraiser organized by Above Board, “All Hands on Deck,” raised $30,000 from an event held at Old Vines and the Tommy McNamara Charitable Foundation donated $10,000, said Winton. The skatepark fund also received $5,000 from the William JJ Gordon Family Foundation; $2,000 from Gillet Page, as memorial contributions in memory of the late Dr. Lyman Page and $1,000 from Judith King.
“We are still actively seeking some donated, in-kind and discounted services to offset the park construction costs since the pricing on materials and labor have all gone up in recent months,” said Winton. “Steel and concrete will be used in the park construction, the existing ramps need repair and rebuilding. Any savings we can recognize with materials or volunteers who can help, can be invested back in the park. This park project has been a long time coming and the community has really rallied in recent months to help make this park the best it can be with the funding available.”
The town allocated $100,000 for improvements to the skatepark several years ago. Over the years, some money has been spent on design and site survey work, Community Development Director Chris Osterrieder told the select board in 2021. The town will receive a $7,500 grant through the Maine Community Foundation.
Winton said if more funds emerge, more work could be done, and that Artisan Skateparks has worked with other communities that used in-kind services and last-minute donations to augment existing funds and do additional work.
“Our team has extensive experience working with in-kind donations,” Andy Duck, owner of Artisan Skateparks, told Winton. “We work with our clients, the local community and business owners to assist, cultivate and include in-kind donations.”
Duck said donations can be in the form of funds, services, materials or discounts and cited examples like housing for six to eight workers for the duration of the project, fuel, lumber, rebar, welding materials and more.
“This enables our clients to get a larger park, incorporate materials, colors, etc. that wouldn’t have been possible with their original budget,” Duck said.