BERLIN – The company evaluating sites for a Berlin skate park is expected to release findings this month regarding potential locations.
Representatives of We Heart Berlin, the nonprofit organization working to bring a skate park to Berlin, said this week they’re expecting information next week from Spohn Ranch, the skate park design company they’ve hired. Company representatives visited the town’s parks to evaluate the locations earlier this year.
“They’re going to recommend a space to put it,” said Brian Robertson of We Heart Berlin.
Robertson met with the Berlin Parks Commission this week to provide an update on skate park progress. We Heart Berlin contracted with Spohn Ranch in December. Their representatives visited Berlin and toured Stephen Decatur Park, Henry Park, Heron Park and even the Northern Worcester Athletic Complex. Robertson said they were looking at things like accessibility, stormwater management, visibility and environmental impact, among other factors.
“That’s 75% of their study, the rest is feedback from us,” he said.
Once the sites are evaluated, town officials, the parks commission and the public will have the ability to weigh in on the options. Robertson said Spohn Ranch would conduct an online survey and issue flyers with a QR code to the online survey. Representatives of We Heart Berlin will also be setting up a table at town events like the Berlin Spring Celebration to share information and gather input from citizens.
“That’s wonderful,” commission member Patricia Dufendach said. “People in town, they ask questions, they want to know. I’m grateful you’re planning on being at all these events.”
Tony Weeg, founder of We Heart Berlin, said there would also be a town hall meeting as part of the design process. He said once a location was decided upon, the nonprofit could begin fundraising seriously. According to Weeg, once roughly $250,000 is raised, the first phase of the park could be built. That would include stormwater management for the entire skate park as well as the first phase of a street park.
Robertson encouraged those interested in the process to look up the work of Spohn Ranch online.
“One of the reasons we picked that company, they had the design aesthetic we’re looking for,” he said, “that takes into account the environment. It’s not just a skate park, it’s a gathering place. There’s green space added in.”
Weeg said he expected to have the initial site review information back from Spohn Ranch by March 17.