Tom Noble wanted a skate park built in Portland, the biggest city in his home state. And he wanted to be the guy to build it.

Six months later, Noble is the guy behind the movement to build a skate park in Kennebunk, his hometown. And yeah, he wants to be the guy who builds it. But this time he doesn’t care as much if he is.

“This is a Kennebunk High graduate who’s a skateboarder for 30 years. That’s where it ends,” said Noble, 44, owner of the Kennebunkport skate park building company, Who Skates?

Last year Who Skates? was one of five finalists to build Portland’s first concrete skate park, but city officials chose a company in Missouri that Noble claims was less qualified than the other finalists.

Portland’s roughly 7,500-square-foot concrete park, costing $325,000, was built beside Congress Street after three years of fundraising.

And while Noble said the Kennebunk skate park effort has nothing to do with Portland’s decisions for its new park — he also says he wants his town’s to be bigger. In fact, he nearly promises it will be.

“This will happen, because Kennebunk wants it,” Noble said. “We decided we’ll shoot for 15,000 square feet. If we’re successful, and there is a very good chance we are, it would be one of the top five biggest in the Northeast. It would be an upper-level regional park enticing weekend travelers to the state.”

A group of locals in the Kennebunk area have rallied around the idea and plan to form a nonprofit group.

The effort began last summer. The first meeting was held Dec. 31.

Dave Glidden of Kennebunk, a skate and snowboard enthusiast and father of young boys, says he believes in the vision of a regional skatepark. He plans to help with fundraising.

“The park being proposed would be one of the biggest in New England. It definitely would draw attention to our town. I think our chances are pretty good. Tom brings a lot of experience to the table. He’s donating his services, which is huge,” Glidden said. “And this is a town where people like to get involved and donate their time and help out, especially if it’s positive.”

Town selectmen approved the concept 5-2, saying it is worth looking into, though no permits have been given yet.

Noble’s not deterred.

His enthusiasm is not fueled by the fact Kennebunk has had a skate park for 15 years or even by his affluent community, but by the other members of the skate park committee.

“It’s exactly what the town and the kids need,” said Mike Thompson of Kennebunk.

“To give the kids a chance to have a park that’s on course with some of the larger cities or states around the nation would be awesome.”

Noble envisions Kennebunk’s future skate park drawing riders from as far as New Jersey, New York, even Ohio. He said a semi-national park being built in southern Maine is a gimme, because that void has not been filled.

And, Noble points out, this is Vacationland.

“It needs to be done. And no one else is doing it,” he said.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

[email protected]