The current design of the skate park planned for Bar Harbor’s athletic fields. The need for more extensive drainage than originally anticipated has pushed construction of the park back to 2017. IMAGE COURTESY OF MDISA

Skate park work delayed

BAR HARBOR — Construction of a concrete skate park at the town athletic fields will require more extensive drainage and groundwork than originally planned, representatives of the Mount Desert Island Skatepark Association (MDISA) told the Town Council Tuesday. To accommodate the additional work and time for the earth to settle, councilors unanimously approved an extension of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between MDISA and the town until November of 2017.

The group has been working for several years towards the goal of building a permanent structure that can be used for skateboarding, BMX biking, inline skating or scooter riding.

In the first MOU between the group and the town, signed in 2007, the town agreed to allocate 8,775 square feet of space at the athletic fields. The current design covers about 8,500 square feet.

“The new groundwork plan includes installation of underground drainage and preloading the site with ledge and fill to induce settlement of the underlying clay over an eight-month period,” MDISA board Chair Karen Svenson said in a memo.

Groundwork, including excavation, drainage and fill, will be done this month by Harold MacQuinn Inc., they said. MDISA offered to report back to the council in the fall on the status of the groundwork and again in the spring with an updated schedule for the rest of the construction. They plan to begin building the concrete sections in May of 2017.

The design includes dense “engineered fill” surrounding the concrete area. Other layers, including 2-inch foam board, protect the concrete against freezing ground and absorb vibration and noise.

The Parks and Recreation Committee approved the design earlier this year.

MDISA continues to raise money, board member Wendy Higgins said. They sold cotton candy during the Fourth of July festivities and are selling engraved bricks for the perimeter of the park.

Visit or MDI Skatepark Association on Facebook.



Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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