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Deal reached to build Charles River Skatepark

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  July 26, 2012 02:46 PM

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The much anticipated Charles River Skatepark moved closer to reality on Thursday.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation announced Thursday it has signed an agreement with the Charles River Conservancy to build the long-promised 40,000 square-foot skatepark at the North Point Park in East Cambridge.

“We look forward to seeing the skate park built and thriving,” DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert, Jr. said in a statement. “We hope the local community and surrounding region share our excitement and vision of this facility as a world-class amenity once it is completed.”

Under the agreement, the conservancy will fund the building of the park with $2.5 million it has raised from private donors, including the Lynch Foundation, the Highland Street Foundation, and the Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation. The Boston Redevelopment Authority, the City of Cambridge, the state, have also provided funding.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation, which manages North Point Park, will take over maintenance and management responsibilities of the skatepark once it is built.

Construction is expected to begin in 2013. ASD/Stantec has been named as the project’s lead contractor.

The finalized agreement comes more than 10 years after the conservancy began planning the skatepark under the ramps of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in 2001.

The economic downturn in 2008 and DCR’s concerns over the cost of longterm maintenance for what will be the largest in New England stalled the project.

“We are proud to be spearheading this project in an historically underutilized area, and hope that this facility will serve to better the community and help to foster more active use of the parklands,” Renata von Tscharner, president of the Charles River Conservancy, said in a statement.

The park’s design will be coordinated with Education First’s upcoming plans for a new building for their Hult School of International Business, according to the department.

The department said skateboarders, inline skaters, and BMX bikers will all be able to use the park for free once it opens, and spectators will also have room to watch.
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E-mail: johanna.yourtown@gmail.com

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