NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Long-laid plans to build a public skate park in Newport have taken a step forward after a brief halt.
In September 2021, the city announced it would be removing the tee-ball field and replacing it with a new basketball court and skate park, but these plans proved to be too difficult, according to Friends of Newport Skate Park President Doug Sabetti.
Fast forward about a year and the city council has approved a new location, near the east side of CCRI’s Newport campus. The city acquired five acres and plans to use a portion of it to build the skate park and basketball court.
Sabetti said the city received a grant to build the basketball court several years ago, so he believes construction should begin by the end of the year.
The skate park will be approximately 22,000 square feet in size and will feature different areas for skaters of all ages and skill levels, according to Sabetti.
“We did push for a decent-sized park, one that’s big enough to accommodate skaters of all skill levels,” Sabetti explained. “[There will be] shorter areas where kids and people just starting can kind of be off on their own, other intermediate areas and fun areas, and a bigger bowl that’s 9 feet deep.”
Sabetti said the two nearest skate parks in Tiverton and Jamestown are both on the small side.
“We wanted to make a modern park,” he added.
Friends of Newport Skate Park aims to raise $1.3 million for the project.
The next step is to design the skate park using the new space. Sabetti told 12 News his team is working with some of the best designers in the country.
At this time, there is no estimated completion date for the project.
Take a look at an aerial view of the property (Courtesy of City of Newport & Friends of Newport Skatepark)