Tiverton's Recreation Commission chairman announced with excitement this week that the proposed skateboard park at is finally moving forward.
The , under the guidance of Maintenance Director Robert Martin, broke ground leveling the soil last month and other early phase work, said Chairman Gary Rose in a recent interview.
"It is happening," he said. "I'm really excited about that. I've been involved with recreation for 10 years. It's something I'd like to see happen."
A new pirate ship jungle gym went up at the park , as the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) awarded the town a $40,000 matching grant in 2010 to get the work started on the park, and the renovations have been ongoing, says Rose. The skate park is among the final phases of the work, and he estimates the total cost of the park’s facelift will be more than $100,000.
Rose added that with the work on the park's refurbishment by resident Jeff Smith 10 years ago, and the DEM grant, he projects they will come in under budget.
To accomodate new and experienced skateboarders, Rose said the approved concept design of the park is a raised bowl with a concrete surface. He hopes skateboarders from all over use the park, which is slated to be completed by next June.
Along Stafford Road and in the parking lot of the old , Rose said he sees kids riding all the time, and sometimes getting kicked out by business owners or .
"There’s a culture there, [with] people there that enjoy it, young and old," he said. "So, I think once this is built, its really gonna be something that’s used all the time. What we hope to build is a park that is both safe and challenging at the same time."
Rose said the commission received a number of bids from "countless" skate park designers for the project, and awarded it to a vendor out of Connecticut.
"The contractor is looking to fit this into his schedule as soon as possible," Rose said.
Rose added that, although it's tempting to ride a bike or walk on the new earth at the proposed site, everyone should stay away from the work zone.
"Rework due to vandalism or people walking on delicate preliminary work will cost us time and money and will only delay the project," he said.
The landscape of the area is changing, as the skate park work comes when nearby residential community Sandywoods Farm is developing a small wind farm and a to be built on land next to the park.