DOVER — In a significant milestone for the city, the eagerly anticipated 10,700-square-foot skatepark at Guppey Park is now fully constructed and operational. Skateboarders, bicyclists, and scooter enthusiasts, both local and from distant areas, are flocking to the park to experience its new offerings.
The expertly crafted skatepark, a brainchild of the renowned Arizona-based architectural firm Pillar Design Studios, stands proudly as the replacement for the worn-down river skatepark. Gary Bannon, the city’s recreation director, revealed that the skatepark quietly debuted over the Indigenous Peoples’ Day weekend before the official launch.
To mark this momentous occasion, the city has planned an official grand opening event scheduled for this Saturday, October 21, starting at noon. This celebration will coincide with the much-anticipated Ryder Street Co. Skate Jam, a charitable event benefiting the Dover Children’s Home. However, there is a possibility of rescheduling both events owing to anticipated inclement weather.
Bannon enthusiastically shared, “Riders have been expressing their sheer delight upon visiting and utilizing the new park. The positive feedback has been overwhelming, leaving us with the conviction that we have truly hit the mark with this project.
Artisan Concrete from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, spearheaded the construction of the illuminated skatepark, which initiated in June. Overall, the project costs around $600,000, covering various aspects such as contracts, lighting setup, and additional site enhancements.
Bannon mentioned that a few final additions, like landscaping, fine-tuning the drainage system, and the installation of a picnic shelter, are still underway for the facility.
Weather permitting, the Guppey Park skatepark is accessible from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.
Since its inauguration, the skatepark has attracted enthusiasts from distant locations, with skaters even making the journey from as far as Portland, Maine, drawn by the appeal of its illuminated night sessions.
From my perspective, witnessing the happiness and diverse experiences of numerous individuals is truly fulfilling,” he expressed. “Our real treasure lies not in the concrete itself, but in the lives and unity this project has fostered.”
After persistent grassroots campaigns, the Dover City Council finally sanctioned the skatepark’s design, engineering, and construction through an August 2021 vote, marking a significant milestone for the city.
Meanwhile, in the neighboring city of Portsmouth, skateboard enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the launch of a massive 20,000-square-foot skatepark along Route 33.