City seeks input for new skatepark

posted on: 10/14/2020; updated: 10/20/2020

On Thursday, Oct. 22, the Dover Skatepark Design Committee will unveil the design and seek public input for a new skatepark planned for Guppey Park.

The Skatepark Design Committee will present the options developed with consultant Pillar Design Studios at 6 p.m. in the softball parking lot at Guppey Park, 110 Portland Ave. The softball park is located adjacent to the new skatepark location planned for an undeveloped section of Guppey Park. In the event of inclement weather, the meeting will be moved to the McConnell Center Cafeteria. The Committee requests that attendees wear facial coverings and practice physical distancing wherever the meeting is held.

Input is needed to help fine tune skatepark plans design, which will determine the exact site for the new skatepark. Once a site is finalized, the Committee can develop a budget and a final design. Building the new park could begin in 2021 if there are no significant obstacles to overcome. <a vi class="perc-more-link"></a>

City seeks input for new skatepark

posted on: 10/14/2020; updated: 10/20/2020

On Thursday, Oct. 22, the Dover Skatepark Design Committee will unveil the design and seek public input for a new skatepark planned for Guppey Park.

The Skatepark Design Committee will present the options developed with consultant Pillar Design Studios at 6 p.m. in the softball parking lot at Guppey Park, 110 Portland Ave. The softball park is located adjacent to the new skatepark location planned for an undeveloped section of Guppey Park. In the event of inclement weather, the meeting will be moved to the McConnell Center Cafeteria. The Committee requests that attendees wear facial coverings and practice physical distancing wherever the meeting is held.

Input is needed to help fine tune skatepark plans design, which will determine the exact site for the new skatepark. Once a site is finalized, the Committee can develop a budget and a final design. Building the new park could begin in 2021 if there are no significant obstacles to overcome.

Last year, the City Council allocated $221,846 in the 2021-2026 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). This year, the City Council will consider allocating another $250,000 in the 2022-2027 CIP.

Current plans for the new skatepark call for it to be made of concrete, shown in other modern skateparks to have long life spans with minimal maintenance. A significant portion of the project's cost is site work, as there is a 25-foot elevation difference from one end of the site to the other.

The Dover Skatepark has been located on River Street since it opened in December of 1998 on the east end of Henry Law Park at the former location of the City's recycling center. Building a Dover Skatepark traces back to July of 1996 when resident and Dover Rotary member Arthur Corte proposed the idea of a skating park to the City Council. The idea was to develop into an in-line skate rink for roller skating and hockey games that could be flooded and frozen in the winter for ice skating. There would also be a section for skateboarders.

The project got off the ground through a $30,000 donation from Dover Rotary and $30,000 from fundraising, which included autograph signings of Boston Bruins players. Fundraising was also generated from an all-age music festival at the Butterfield Gym's former location, where the Children's Museum of New Hampshire now resides. Then as now, Recreation Director Gary Bannon aided the planning and construction process. Once opened, the site became a haven for skateboarders.

Relocating the skatepark dates back to previous plans to develop the City's waterfront in the late 2000s, which was eventually delayed by the recession. A potential developer of the waterfront, who eventually withdrew from the project, paid $40,000 fees to the City to extend contractual deadlines. Half of the money was reserved for the skatepark.

When it appeared the skatepark would remain in its location for a few more years, in late 2014, the Recreation Department allocated $13,000 of the money to build a halfpipe at the River Street site. The unique halfpipe was designed and built by James Boos, Steve Stripto, Chris Trembley, and Matty Johnson, who were also on an ad-hoc committee looking for a place to relocate the skatepark. They designed the halfpipe so it could be to be moved in the future. It is one of the design options being considered for the new skatepark.

Boos, Stripto, Trembley and Johnson are also on the Dover Skatepark Design Committee along with Bannon.

For more information, contact Bannon at the Recreation Department at 516-6410 or g.bannon@dover.nh.gov.