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MANCHESTER — Construction to double the size of the Manchester Skatepark has begun in earnest at Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park.

Workers contracted by Seattle-based Grindline Skateparks, the firm signed by the town to design and build the concrete structure, were busy Monday with a wide variety of tasks. A front loader delivered loads of gravel from a nearby lot to the site of the new addition. Other workers were hammering and welding as they prepared the forms that will become concrete obstacles and park features.

Project foreman Tim Trudell said additional workers are expected in town this week to help speed the project to completion, weather-permitting. At present, the work is focusing on leveling the site and preparing the forms where concrete will be poured. That can happen until the temperature reaches the freezing point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, Trudell said.

While the workers come from a wide geographic area — Trudell is from California, and others on site Monday hailed from New Jersey and North Carolina — what they share is a love of skateboarding, Trudell said. That’s on purpose; as skaters, they better understand the plans and what the designers have in mind.

“It makes it easier if they skate,” he said.

So far, the work crew is having a good experience in Manchester, Trudell said. The weather conditions have been good for outdoor labor, and “everybody who comes by has been super positive,” he said.

The Manchester Skatepark Committee, hoping to complete the second phase of the park and double its area to about 16,000 square feet, obtained a $250,000 pledge from an anonymous donor, a $25,000 pledge from the Right Track Foundation, and up to $75,000 in ARPA funds from the town of Manchester. All three funding sources are contingent on the project being completed in 2022.

Reach Greg Sukiennik at gsukiennik@manchesterjournal.com or at 802-447-7567, ext. 119.

Greg Sukiennik has worked at all three Vermont News & Media newspapers and was their managing editor from 2017-19. He previously worked for ESPN.com, for the AP in Boston, and at The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass.


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