BERLIN – A local nonprofit’s plans for a skate park in Berlin continue to move closer to reality.
We Heart Berlin, the nonprofit that’s been working to bring more recreational opportunities to town, signed a roughly $18,000 contract with a design company last week. The company will look at potential locations and meet with local residents to determine the best space and layout for a skate park in Berlin.
“They look at the whole gamut,” said Tony Weeg, founder of We Heart Berlin.
Members of We Heart Berlin met this fall with representatives of two potential design companies, Pillar and Spohn Ranch.
While pleased with the attributes of both, Weeg said the nonprofit settled on Spohn Ranch.
“Both companies were fantastic, we simply liked the artistic nature of the design Spohn Ranch does,” he said, adding that the company comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience. “They could take Decatur Park and weave a skate park in it and make it look beautiful.”
While he used Stephen Decatur Park as an example, Weeg said company staff would be visiting in January to look at four locations – Decatur Park, Henry Park, Heron Park and the Northern Worcester Athletic Complex.
“In this visit we’re going to go around to the various sites and survey them,” Weeg said. “There are about 15 criteria they weigh each location against.”
They’ll look at stormwater needs, neighborhood impact and potential size and design options for each location and recommend the best site to We Heart Berlin. Once a site is selected, Spohn Ranch representatives will collect input from local skateboarders and community members regarding the design of the park and the features it should include.
“That’s when we get to the nitty gritty of where we put various features,” Weeg said.
He’s hopeful that Spohn Ranch will have a couple potential designs for the town by spring. At that point, the next step would be construction.
“My vision is probably three phases, each at $250,000 to $300,000,” Weeg said. “I’m hoping we partner with local foundations to help us get a big part of the way through each.”
For more information on We Heart Berlin and its skate park fundraising efforts, visit its website, weheartberlin.org.
Though We Heart Berlin organized the revitalization of the basketball courts at Henry Park last year and installed ping pong tables at Burbage Park this year, the nonprofit’s long-term goal has been and continues to be bringing a bike and skate park to Berlin.