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June 9, 2013

Skatepark's equipment up for sale

Skatepark ramps up for sale

WINDHAM — The town is trying to sell off the shuttered skatepark, or at least its equipment.

Officials closed the park last year because of bad behavior that included littering, profanity and skaters refusing to wear helmets.

Recreation coordinator Cheryl Haas said selectmen have decided to put park equipment out for a second round of bidding, after receiving little response when it was first advertised this spring.

Dennis Senibaldi, chairman of the Recreation Committee, estimates volunteers raised about $45,000 to build and equip the park when it opened 13 years ago in Griffin Park.

He concedes some of the life may be gone from the wood-frame equipment due to age and exposure to the weather.

“There are nine or 10 pieces,” Senibaldi said.

That includes ramps and fencing.

“That was all donated,” he said.

Selectmen gave proponents the chance to come up with a plan to supervise skaters and keep it open, but none emerged over the winter as the board requested.

The Recreation Committee did review a last-minute proposal from parents and skaters, but decided against allowing the skatepark to reopen. Senibaldi was in the minority that was willing to give it another chance.

A donation would have let the town pay for someone to watch the skaters, he said. “It was very disappointing the Recreation Committee wouldn’t try the plan.”

So for now, the skatepark equipment is up for sale. Senibaldi already is brainstorming about what might replace the skatepark.

He said he would like to see a bocce court or picnic tables with checker boards.

The skatepark isn’t dead, but very close.

“I always hold out some hope,” Senibaldi said. “But it’s not looking so good.

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