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March 03. 2013 9:58PM

Hundreds show their support for Nashua skate park

NASHUA - A petition has been written to build a new skate park before the current skate facility on Bridge Street is demolished to pave way for a large development project in the coming years.

"The skateboard community wants to be guaranteed that a new park of greater or equal quality be built before the current park is taken down," states an online petition sponsored by Linda Vickery of Nashua.

So far, more than 825 people have signed the petition. The goal is to garner at least 1,000 supporters, according to the site.

The David W. Deane Skateboard Park was built in 2000 for about $120,000, and is quite popular throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts. However, the city previously contracted with Renaissance Downtowns to develop the 26-acre parcel where the park is located on Bridge Street. The group hopes to break ground in the fall on a major housing and retail development project that includes a waterfront promenade near the Nashua and Merrimack rivers.

With Renaissance looking to break ground in September, and the project expected to take one to three years to complete, the future of the popular skate park is still in question.

"I am working on the makeup of a committee to work on recommendations for a new location for the David Deane Skateboard Park," Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said recently during her State of the City address. "This relocation, as all of you know, is necessary due to the redevelopment of the Bridge Street site."

According to Lozeau, Alderman Deane has agreed to serve on the committee, and she is optimistic that the members of the committee will be named and begin work this month.

"Under no situation do we see our development moving forward without a new skate park," Jim Vayo of Renaissance Downtowns told the New Hampshire Union Leader earlier this year.

The outdoor skate park on the eastern side of Nashua is free to skating enthusiasts. It includes an 11-foot-deep traditional bowl, along with a street course, ledges, rails, grind bars and fun box.

"These guys are ready to rumble," Deane said on Sunday, adding many people have a vested interest in the future of the skate park. "This is not just kids. People come from all over the country to skate there."

Deane said he has submitted the names of three individuals who would like to serve on the committee, and he is waiting on word from the mayor to proceed with the first meeting hopefully later this month.

"The deal we had discussed was that the skaters and bikers would not be left without a park because of the Renaissance project. Everyone has been assured that," said Deane, adding the real problem is finding a suitable location for a new park.

Deane said he was pleased to learn of the online petition, adding he would gladly sign the document.

"I am so happy that so many people are interested in finding a new park," added Deane.

The petition can be viewed at www.thepetitionsite.com/364/292/202.

khoughton@newstote.com

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