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New site considered for skate park in Berkeley Springs

July 13, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The Berkeley Springs Bike and Skate Park might be built on part of a county-owned property on U.S. 522 south of town, the president of the Morgan County Commission said Friday.

Glen Stotler, who also is a board member for Morgan County Parks & Recreation, said at Friday's Morgan County Commission meeting that the skate park site being considered is part of 10 acres south of Dawson's Home Center and about 100 yards off U.S. 522.

Jennie McBee, spokesperson for the Berkeley Springs Bike and Skate Group, said the estimated cost for the park is $300,000. Group member Matt Hovermale said the skate park would use about one acre of the 10-acre site.

"The reason for the high price tag is because we are trying to build a park that will bring in national skaters," Hovermale said. "It will be good for tourist business, too."

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The group has about $37,000, McBee said, and area builders have committed to help construct the park with donated materials and labor.

"This might be an opportunity in disguise because we can build the park we've been dreaming of," McBee said.

McBee said the group has been working toward building a skate park for the past six years, and hired Nate Wessel, an international skate park designer, to design it.

"It is a rare opportunity to work with him," McBee said. "His design will attract raising the funds that will be available in our community."

Wessel designed a skate park on Parks & Recreation-owned property on Williams Street, but it was learned recently the property was in a flood plain and not suitable for the skate park.

McBee said the new site will be redesigned by Wessel. The cost for the design will be $5,000, the same as for the previous design, she said.

The new site will be surveyed next week, and could have access to a well, septic and power, Stotler said. He said the skate park will occupy about a 150-foot-by-250-foot area, and parking already is available on site.

The commission and the skate group will look at the site next week, and the property will be discussed at the next commission meeting on July 27.

"It's looking good and getting better," Hovermale said. "We're getting closer."

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