Zach Lufkin, 16, of Holden skates on the half-pipe at the Bangor Skateboard Park in August 2013. Credit: Gabor Degre | BDN

The Bangor City Council’s finance committee on Monday night approved a plan to spend $125,000 on designing and building a new skate park to be located in Hayford Park on 13th Street. The new park will replace the deteriorating old park, which has been located in a concrete lot off Union Street since 2012.

American Ramp Company, a Missouri-based designer of skate parks and bike parks, was awarded the contract to design the park. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department and local skaters will work with the company to come up with a design and the current plan is to install it in the spring and early summer.

Though the plans have not yet been drafted, it is likely to include several grind rails, a quarter pipe and a number of concrete, in-ground ramps. The new park will be located behind the centerfield line of Mansfield Stadium, where volleyball nets were formerly located.

City Councilor Laura Supica has been involved in the process of selecting a site for the skate park since it began in 2017 and is on the committee that approved the American Ramp Company proposal Monday night.

“I remember when people viewed skating as a nuisance, but that’s not the majority view in our community anymore,” Supica said. “It’s awesome that we are getting a new park closer to the center of town, in a green space that people will want to use.”

The building of a new skate park is a project that’s been in the works for close to a decade, with local skateboarders doing extensive fundraising between 2012 and 2017 to help fund the effort. The Black Bear Skatepark Association raised around $30,000 for the project. The full funding for the project has been allocated for more than three years now.

Presently, the Bangor area does not have a modern, public skate park, with the closest one located in Belfast. The current park’s wooden ramps are falling apart and there are no public restrooms or water easily accessible to users of the park.

“The credit for all this really goes to the skateboarders of the area, who for years have been advocating for this,” Supica said.

Though most agreed that the old skate park, originally located at Bass Park and relocated in 2012 to Union Street, was in dire need of replacement, it took a while for the city to settle on a location. Other locations floated included Broadway Park, Newbury Park and behind the Parks and Recreation building on Main Street. Hayford Park, however, not only had the space available, it also is on a bus route and has bathrooms, water and other public recreation facilities on the same property.

The full City Council will take a final vote on the proposal at its next meeting.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.