November 9, 2018

Windham Skate Park revamp update

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham Skate Park is getting a new look. The skate park was originally opened in 1999 and was first located at Windham High School until it was moved the following year to where it currently is located between the public safety building and the Community Garden on Gray Road.

Old Skate Park
In the Spring of 2016, the park needed to be closed for safety reasons. The Windham Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee felt strongly that the community still needed a skate park. The Parks and Recreation Committee decided it was time to update the skate park’s current wooden structures to be made of concrete. “It has been determined that intensity of use and longtime exposure to the elements did result in a limited lifespan for the park. Essentially, although regular maintenance was done on the park, structures ultimately were worn out,” explained Linda Brooks, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

Latest concept design
The town has received a Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant which will be applied toward the community park and skate park construction. There are a few other funds currently dedicated to the construction of the concrete skate park: the LWCF grant, funds from the Recreational Impact Fee Account and funds from the sale of the Gambo property to the Windham Youth Soccer Association.

The grant funding and funds from the Recreational Impact Fee Account are a huge boost to making this a reality but further funding is expected to be needed and fundraising efforts are underway. Earlier this summer, Windham Youth Basketball hosted their annual tournament and donated the proceeds to the community park basketball courts.

The “main goal of the Parks and Recreation Committee is to build excitement about the project and encourage participation in the process and ownership of the park by the skate park users,” continued Brooks.

“Developing a community park has been a topic of discussion for the last ten years or so and there has been a number of designs over the years for the parcel located next to the public safety building. It wasn't until Linda Brooks suggested applying for the Land and Water Conservation grant (the same grant Windham was awarded back in the 1970s to build Dundee Park) and Windham being awarded the grant....did it become a reality,” clarifies Pat Moody, Chair of the Windham Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.

How will the two skate parks differ? The skate park is only one element of the comprehensive plan for this community park. The plan calls for a skate park, basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, a playground and walking paths with mile marker signs and suggested exercises. The walking paths will loop around the park that is designed to offer something for everyone. Parks and Recreation Committee hopes to hold a fundraiser community event in the spring to promote plans for the new park. Citizens and community groups will be key in raising the remaining funds to complete all phases of the park.

Construction should begin in late winter/early spring, and the grant requires that we complete this first phase by September 2019.

For more information on how you or your organization can help with the community park please contract Windham Parks & Recreation at 892-1905. 

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