July 5, 2016

Buxton skatepark almost finished, another planned for Rodanthe


Hatteras Island will soon have two new skateparks. The skatepark project at the Fessenden Center is almost complete, while the planning for a skatepark outside the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center is underway.

The same company – Artisan Skateparks of Kitty Hawk – is handling both projects, which provides an added benefit to island skateboarders, explains Susan Gray, who is the office support specialist for the Fessenden Center and a member on the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Building Board. 

“Their goal is to not duplicate the Buxton park, and to do something different [in Rodanthe], so there will be two separate concepts,” says Gray. “Because [the Buxton park] is more of a bowl-style park, our park in Rodanthe will have more street features involved. There may be some bowl elements or features, but not a big bowl like the Fessenden park.”

The addition of a new skatepark at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Building has been a project that’s been several years in the making. As the on-site basketball court became more congested with both basketball players and skaters, it became evident that a skatepark was needed in the tri-villages.

“It’s been in the back of our minds for a couple of years,” Gray says. “We wanted to make it happen, and we think it’s going to be a great addition to the property.”

A public meeting was held in mid-June where the project was outlined and discussed by Artisan Skateparks in an open house-style format. Gray estimates that roughly 35 people came – including parents and kids – to learn more about the project and provide their feedback on what they’d like to see in the upcoming park. 

“We wanted a little feedback from the community, and for people to give their input,” says Gray.

Locals who didn’t have an opportunity to attend the mid-June meeting will be happy to know that a second meeting will be held in the future, which will be wide open to the public. 

Because the plot of land where the skatepark will be built is low-lying and has a tendency to flood, an engineering firm must first come out to review the property and provide a plan for adding fill, raising the elevations, and/or adding other features that will keep the park high and dry. 

The engineering firm has to complete its work, which could take one to three months, and the site has to be prepared before construction can start.

“It’s going to happen, and it’s just a question of when,” says Gray.

Funds for the park are being provided by the Waves-Salvo Community Building Board, and the board is confident that any adjustments that need to be made to the site will be affordable.

“The site where the skatepark is being built is not that big, so we have no reason to think we won’t be able to add the fill or make any adjustment necessary,” says Gray.

Once the site is prepped, the board will have a clearer picture on the overall budget for the project, what the park will look like, and when the project will get underway. 

“What we are going to do [for a design] is contingent on what we can do on the land,” says Gray.

After the site prep, the second meeting will also be scheduled, which will be announced to the public through The Island Free Press and other media outlets. 

In the meantime, island skaters are just a couple weeks away from being able to use the new skatepark at the Fessenden Center in Buxton, which is funded by Dare County and was expected to cost about $165,000.

“Everyone was hoping to have it done by Fourth of July weekend, but the weather has put a damper on [the completion date],” says Gray. “But it’s still rolling along nicely. It looks like they’re doing the outside walls now – the outer edge of the park – and all the inside elements are done. They just have to fill it in to make it smooth and continuous.”

And in order to pour the concrete, there needs to be a couple of sunny days in a row. However, even with patches of rain, the Fessenden Center park is roughly two weeks to a month away from being finished,
Skaters can look forward to having access to the park by the end of July.

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