May 20, 2016


New skatepark under construction in Buxton

By JOY CRIST


The new Hatteras Island skatepark is currently under construction next to the baseball field at the Fessenden Center in Buxton, with a potential completion date of Memorial Day weekend.

“That’s the goal,” says Tim White, the program director for the Dare County Parks and Recreation Department, although he notes that an upcoming forecast of several rainy days may slow down the progress of the construction.

The final design is a combination of two concepts that were presented and discussed at a public meeting in early March. Comments and suggestions were also encouraged via email, and on a Facebook page dedicated to the project, at https://www.facebook.com/Buxton-Skatepark-1696699543881450/?fref=ts.

The second concept, which measured roughly 6,000 square feet and which featured approximately 8-foot decks all the way around a central bowl, was the preferred option by both public meeting attendees and the Facebook community,

“Concept [two] looks way better. The more bowl and transition the better... we all surf around here,” said one commenter.

But the cost of the second option was approximately $40,000 more than the $165,000 in county funding that was budgeted for the park, and to date, there are no extra donations available to upgrade fully to the second concept.

As a result, the final design will incorporate some of the popular features of the second concept, as well as some of the more budget-friendly aspects of the first concept – which did come in under the allotted $165,000 price tag.

“They’ve absorbed some of the features from design two, and put it into design one,” explained White. “They’re going to build it within budget, but it’s not going to be exactly like design two.”

Plans were handed over to the building inspector once the final design was solidified, and the construction of the skatepark began in late April. The project is being completed by Artisan Skateparks – a local construction company that was selected for the project in December of 2015 after the county vetted five different developers, including one from Florida, one from Seattle, and two from California. The Board of Commissioners made the final decision to go with Artisan Skateparks.

The Dare County Parks and Recreation Department has worked with Artisan Skateparks before, for the construction of the skatepark in Kitty Hawk, and the company has been in business since 2003, with a collaboration of more than 25 years of combined custom skatepark construction and design.

Once completed, the skatepark will be free and open to everyone in the community, from visitors to residents.

And as long as the weather holds out, there’s a good chance that locals can break in the new skatepark as early as Memorial Day weekend.


           
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