BANGOR, Maine — Adam Moskovitz is the first to admit he’ll never be mistaken for a great basketball player, but he’s being credited for a huge assist to the city of Bangor and his Fairmount Park neighborhood.
Thanks to a private donation by Moskovitz, a Florida native who has been living in Maine the past nine years, the asphalt basketball half-court at the corner of Fairmount Street and Norway Road has gone from crumbling eyesore to a visible park centerpiece.
“I go by the court a lot and noticed it was in pretty rough shape, and at one point the idea just came to me to give back to the community I live in,” said Moskovitz, who moved to Norway Road from Forest Avenue last year. “In the back of my mind, I guess I’ve thought about it for several months, but it became a definite about three months ago. I had the means to do it, so why not do it?”
Moskovitz came to Maine for the first time several years back to visit his best friend, who hailed from Franklin.
“I was in the Army for eight years and that’s where I met my best friend,” the former sergeant recalled. “I came to visit, liked it, moved up here, went to UMaine, joined the Mountain Company and served in Iraq.”
Moskovitz earned his degree in recreational business management and eventually started his own business. He is the owner of ANM Properties, a rental and commercial properties company.
Work started on the new court at the beginning of the week and Moskovitz expects it to be playable by Friday afternoon.
“We’re very excited and it will add a lot to the overall enjoyment people already get from that park,” said Bangor Parks and Recreation Department director Tracy Willette, who estimated the total cost of the project to be approximately $20,000. “We certainly didn’t have anything allotted for that kind of project in our budget.”
The new bright red court, with a blue key and white markings, has one hoop with a much larger, full-size halfcourt measuring 50 by 42 feet and featuring a Flex Court all-weather sports surface with a 15-year warranty.
“It’s a type of plastic polymer mixed in the concrete, so it has give to it, which is less hard on the joints of people playing on it and much more resistant to weather,” said Moskovitz.
The surface should be much more resistant to damage from seasonal freezing and thawing and is also perforated for much quicker rain drainage and drying.
The work was done by Brock Starbird of Starbird Contracting in Hampden.
“We dug up the old asphalt and we took precautions with the winter by putting foam under the concrete slabs to act as a frost barrier,” Moskovitz said Thursday. “It took two days to do the groundwork because of the rain, but we poured the slabs yesterday, and today we just finished laying down the court.”
The entire neighborhood appears to be excited about the project, which has attracted plenty of attention from passers-by the last few days. Moskovitz certainly is.
“To be honest, I’m not even that great,” said the self-professed soccer [to play] and college football [to watch] fan. “I just like to play ball once in a while with the [guys].”
And when it’s game time, Moskovitz has plenty of reason to expect preferential treatment and a pass to the front of the line to get on the new court, right?
“No, I have to wait my turn, just like everybody else,” he said.