May 20, 2016

Windham Skatepark gets structural assessment June 2 - By Anne Libby

On Monday the 16th there was a Windham Parks and Recreation meeting to continue discussion on the skate park plans. The original designer and builder of the park Josh Benson was in attendance. He will be meeting with a structural engineer on June 2nd to go through the park to salvage what structures are still safe, and mark the ones that need to be taken down. Right now in the budget there is $5,000 to use on the park for this fiscal year. Benson has estimated $66,000 to fix and rebuild all the unsafe aspects of the park.                                                                                        For the wooden park, maintenance needs to be performed yearly to keep the elements from deteriorating from use. The initial building cost for the park was $21,000. Over the past 16 years of maintenance $89,000 has been spent to keep the park in good shape. The soundproofing efforts also cost $12,000, and some of those efforts shortened the life of the elements.                                                                              
At the park there are long deep cracks in the pavement, as well as big holes. Most of the edges of all of the elements are chewed up to the point of the skate light (the material used to cover the parts of the elements that are used to skate on) is not even there. There are places where the metal plates that are connected to the bottom of all the elements are not flush with the skate light, or is not connected at all. There are parts in the middle of the ramps where the skate light has been chipped away, and screws stick out of the wood. On the stairs there is one board that lifts off the stringers, and there is another piece that has been broken in two. In more than one place the screw that holds the skate light in place has dug a hole through the skate light and now doesn’t hold anything.                                                                                      
Regardless of what the town decides to do additional attention will be needed at the park before it can be reopened.

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