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
“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
Skaters can look forward to having access to the park by the end of July.