Hopkinton’s skate park in need of renovations – the options ahead


Monitor staff

Published: 01-10-2024 4:56 PM

For Hunter Crawford, the Spirit Skate Park in Hopkinton is more than a recreational space. It’s been a place to make lasting friendships.

Crawford has spent countless after-school hours boarding on the ramps of the park, located on the grounds of Hopkinton Middle High School. In the summer, he would ride his bike there.

“I was always there and I’ve learned a lot there,” said Crawford, now 24. “The skate park used to be my home away from home.”

But the park has changed since his teenage years, gradually showing the effects of natural wear and tear.

With significant structural issues posing a threat to safety, the town is exploring options and discussing the future of the 20-year-old facility.

One potential solution under consideration is a redesign proposal from the American Ramp Company, with an estimated cost of $468,000, excluding pad resurfacing. Another option is to explore estimates for metal-framed or concrete ramps, or even consider replacing ramps individually with a different company as needed.

If renovation proves impractical, another option is to maintain the existing wooden ramps until they are no longer usable. If maintenance efforts prove insufficient to restore the park to a functional state, the next step involves relocating the ramps and other components to the transfer station.

The skate park opened in 2003 in memory of two Hopkinton friends, Rob Carr and Jake Shumway. Their lives were cut short when a snow cave collapsed, burying them under snow.

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The Spirit Skate Park has become a communal haven for both residents and visitors from neighboring towns without skate parks.

Funding for the project is also an important part of the decision-making process.

Options include full funding by taxpayers or having the select board commit to a specific amount while seeking the remainder through community fundraising over a year.

If the decision is made to pursue fundraising, after securing the total amount, the town would then request the company to proceed with a design revision, following the budgetary constraints set by the secured funds.

Over the years, Crawford has seen the skate park lose many obstacles. Instead of fixing the broken parts, the town would just remove them, he said.

“I don’t think it all needs to go,” said Crawford. “It’s always been a good place. Our town is really lucky to have it.”