Skateboarders invited to meeting on new Buxton skate parkBy JOY CRIST
new skate park is on the horizon for Hatteras Island -- replacing the
now-removed skate park that was behind the Fessenden Center in Buxton
-- and the public’s help is needed to craft a design that will best
suit island boarders.
public meeting is planned for Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. at the
Fessenden Center to give local residents the opportunity to voice their
opinions on what the skate park should entail and to learn more about
the methodology for the upcoming project.
new skate park is a project that has been in the works for months, but
it came to a crucial point in December when the Board of Commissioners
(BOC) selected the developer that would move forward with the
White, the program director for the Dare County Parks and Recreation
Department, has been working on this project from the beginning, and
has been the go-to person for creating a rough cost estimate, following
up with an approval committee, and, eventually, presenting the project
to the BOC. (The skate park is being paid for by county funds.)
[originally] had some skate board structures at the Fessenden Center,
and we had a good following and daily attendance,” says White. “But
[the equipment] was old – mainly a wood bowl and railing – and it
required a lot of maintenance and was becoming dangerous. It was time
to replace it and upgrade to the current style of skating equipment
people are using today.”
new design will utilize concrete – not wood – and will be completely
customized based on both the locale and the public’s requests. White
said $165,000 is budgeted for the park.
five companies that were up for consideration included a skate park
developer from Florida, one from Seattle, two from California, and one
from Dare County.
The home-grown company, Artisan Skateparks, was chosen for the project.
five were very qualified,” says White. “Artisan was the most
cost-conscious out of the five that were submitted, and we wanted to do
what we could to hire locally.”
Dare County Parks and Recreation has worked with Artisan before for the
skate park in Kitty Hawk, and the company has an impressive record of
park construction all across the country, and even outside the United
Duck, president of Artisan Skateparks, is also a lifelong skateboarder
and has a team of avid skateboarders as well to lend their expertise to
“Somehow we always hire people who are very familiar with skateboards. It makes for a better product,” he says.
Skateparks started in 2003 and is a collaboration of more than 25 years
of combined custom skate park construction and design.
“Every one [skate park] is completely different – we never build the same one twice. Everything is custom,” says Duck.
now that the groundwork has been laid, and the construction company has
been selected, the next step is where Hatteras Island residents come
“In our opinion, the local users are the key stakeholders, so it benefits everyone to enlist their help,” says Duck.
The Jan. 27 meeting will be the first of three planned for the project, according to Duck.
this initial meeting, the public can essentially voice what they want,
which will be considered based on what the site can accommodate.
feedback will be transformed into two or three designs, which will then
be discussed by the public at the second meeting. At the third meeting,
a final rendition will be unveiled. There may also be a blog or website
link along the way where people can post their comments online during
who is interested in skateboarding or who wants to learn more about the
project is encouraged to attend to have his or her voice heard.
very important that we try to build the parks based on what the
community would like to see, and also get as much community involvement
as possible,” says White. “We have had people for several years tell us
that the skateboard community needs a park on Hatteras Island. And it
was important to me to update it to designs that people skate on today.”
the final design is approved, it will still take several months to go
from breaking ground to completion, but for many Hatteras Island
skateboarders who miss the old equipment behind the Fessenden Center,
the approval of the project is a reason to celebrate.