MANCHESTER — A key alderman on Tuesday said he couldn't support the upgrades a private developer has proposed for the Adam Curtis Skate Park, saying the park is in the wrong place.
Ron Ludwig, an alderman in the North End's Ward 2 and the former director of Parks and Recreation for the city, said he never wanted the park built at the location, which is behind the Regis Lemaire Community Center on Maple Street.
"It didn't, in my opinion, turn out to be what skateboarders really like," he said. He said it cannot be seen from the road, but skateboarders want to be seen.
"This was obviously the wrong place," Ludwig said.
Jim DeStefano, project coordinator for the nonprofit XMVSkate Inc., hopes to raise enough money to improve the park. His original plans, an enclosed park, proved to be too costly. So now DeStefano wants to redesign the community center building, in part by eliminating much of the interior space and converting it into a park entryway.
DeStafano said those changes will open site lines into the skate park. He wants to keep some of the structure up to provide restrooms and the ability to generate revenue for the skateboard park.
He said the location is good."It's now right down the street from the city police department," DeStefano said.Ludwig said it would be best to tear down the community center and move the skate park close to the street.
Ludwig said the city should have paved a flat piece of property and installed rails, pipes and decks, which could be replaced once they wore out.