Airborne

Michael Moore / Sentinel Staff

Nick Dumond, 14, of Keene, sails on his scooter off a ramp at the Keene Skatepark on Gilbo Avenue in Keene in October 2018. The steeple of the United Church of Christ on Central Square is in the background.

The proposed new Keene Skatepark is now bigger than in earlier plans, according to Project Coordinator Kathleen Burke.

Plans now call for the 9,800-square-foot park on Gilbo Avenue, previously slated for an overhaul, to move to the corner of School Street and Gilbo Avenue as part of the Monadnock Economic Development Corp.’s proposed arts corridor, Burke said.

The corridor would stretch along Gilbo Avenue between Main Street and School Street, extend to the Railroad Square area on the other side of Main, and include an outdoor performance space, space for artists to live and work and a welcome center.

But with the corridor plans still in the early stages, Burke noted that the park would be built in the lot at the southeastern corner of School Street and Gilbo Avenue independent of the corridor’s progress, and the city would be maintaining it.

Keene State College owns the lot, and even if the corridor doesn’t happen, would still allow the skatepark on the land, Burke said.

The new park would be a poured concrete facility, which Burke said is inexpensive to maintain. The current skatepark, made of plywood and metal sheeting, would be torn down.

With more space allotted for the project, Burke said the envisioned skatepark has expanded to between 12,000 and 15,000 square feet. The fundraising goal has also increased, from $300,000 to $325,000, to account for the bigger space.

As of Thursday, Burke said the project has raised $110,000 of its goal, and is still waiting to hear back on a few “very big donations.”

One big-name donation was for $10,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation, awarded in April.

“We believe by the end of the year we should’ve met our fundraising goal,” Burke said.

If the goal is reached by then, she said the park will be designed this winter and built in the summer of 2020.

Anyone wanting to make a donation can visit www.keeneskatepark.com or make a check out to Pathways for Keene — Keene Skatepark and send it to P.O. Box 226, Keene, NH 03431.

Olivia Belanger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or obelanger@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @OBelangerKS.