June 18, 2018
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Bangor’s skateboarders might see another move, as city looks into skate park relocation

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
Zach Lufkin, 16, of Holden skates on the half-pipe at the Bangor Skateboard Park Thursdasy. Zach said that every skateboarder would welcome the park ramps to be redone and moved to a better location.
By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor skateboarders could face another relocation, one that the city hopes will be a more permanent home than the previous two efforts.

The Maine Avenue site, where the park was moved in fall 2012 to make way for the Cross Insurance Center, isn’t an ideal spot for the city. The park is located on a 9,000-square-foot concrete slab near Union Street behind Bangor Radiator.

That slab is part of a lot that Bangor is marketing for potential commercial development in the future, and the city might want to take advantage of other opportunities there, city officials have said.

The current skate park features worn wooden structures that have outlived their usefulness, according to Bangor Parks and Recreation Director Tracy Willette. On a scale of 1-10, he rated the park a 3 and said it’s also outdated.

“The trend now is to move toward more of a plaza design,” Willette said. The plaza could feature pathways leading to and connecting more permanent concrete skating structures than the aging wooden ones skaters have been using.

Willette said the first step in the process will be nailing down a new location. Potential candidates include Hayford Park and the area behind Dakin Pool off Pine Street, both city properties. Essex Street Hill, near the Bangor Dog Park and Police Athletic League building, also was considered, but the location likely is too isolated.

Members of the Parks and Rec Committee also have asked whether it might be better to have two smaller parks in the city, rather than one large one.

The skate park, or parks, ideally will be located near a bus route so skaters have easy access.

Willette said the city will reach out to residents near the potential locations to gauge their concerns.

“We want to be good neighbors with this,” he said.

The city’s recreation committee will decide on a recommended site before taking it to a council committee in coming months.

It’s unclear what the cost of a park might be, as the design process won’t start until the location is decided on. Willette said the local skating organization will be involved in the decision and design. The project would probably be funded in part by the city and in part through fundraising efforts of the skate group, Willette said.

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