PORTLAND — Work crews will begin construction late this summer on a $250,000 skate park at Dougherty Field, which will give bikers and skaters something they haven’t had since a half-pipe was removed from a city lot on Marginal Way five years ago — a place of their own.

A city committee gave final approval Monday for the design of the skate park, which will be built by Hardcore Shotcrete Skateparks Inc.

The park will have a “crop circles” design, chosen in an online poll of skateboarders. The layout will resemble the formations that occasionally pop up in wheat fields.

Construction was scheduled to begin this spring but was delayed to give the Skatepark Planning Committee time to work on design issues with Hardcore Shotcrete, which won in competitive bidding to design and build the park.

The company offered suggestions for improving the design, and the committee worked to include the changes while keeping the original crop circle concept.

The additional time was well-spent, said City Councilor David Marshall, who chairs the committee. “Ultimately, the park will be a better product,” he said.

Rocco Didonato, 17, a recent Portland High School graduate who served on the committee, said the new design provides a better “flow,” a term that skaters and bikers use to describe the transition between features.

“This is the best design I’ve seen,” said DiDonato, who rides a BMX bike. “It has the most flow. It will be the best for both skaters and bikers.”

The main skate park plaza incorporates street elements, such as stairs, ledges and rails, along with more fluid terrain, such as embankments, rollers and quarter-pipes, said Mark Leone, vice president of design for Hardcore Shotcrete Skateparks.

The design is suitable for all skill levels, he said.

Although the new park will not have a half-pipe, that’s not big issue because people will be able to use the half-pipe in the skate park in Westbrook, Didonato said.

Portland’s new park is expected to take six weeks to build. No date has been set for the start of construction, but work is expected to begin before the end of summer.

The city contributed $150,000 to the project, plus the land, which is valued at $75,000. The remaining $100,000 was raised from private contributions including:

$50,000 from the Ollie Fund of the Maine Community Foundation

$25,000 from the Quimby Family Foundation

$10,000 from the In-Body Calm Foundation

$5,775 from MENSK

$1,200 from students of South Portland High School

$400 from a fundraiser at Flatbread Co.

$220 from Hall School fifth-graders.

A pathway to the entrance of the park and surrounding the perimeter will be made of bricks purchased through the “Buy A Brick” program. Residents, businesses and supporters of the skate park have purchased bricks for $50 each.

For more information on how to buy a brick, go to: www.portlandmaine.gov/skatepark.htm.


Staff Writer Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:

[email protected]