May 7, 2013

The Honorable Ed Osborne and Honorable Members
Aldermanic Lands & Buildings Committee
City of Manchester
One City Hall Plaza
Manchester, NH 03101


Dear Chairman Osborne and Land & Buildings Committee Members:

I’m writing to provide you an update from XMVSkate, Inc. regarding its efforts to upgrade the Adam Curtis Skate Park on Maple Street, Manchester, NH.  Although we’ve been out of the public eye for a couple of months, I’m happy to report we’ve made substantial progress on this initiative.

Of primary note, and after an extensive research and nationwide interview process of the country’s leading skatepark design and construction firms, we have signed a Letter of Intent to hire Artisan Skateparks ( of Kitty Hawk, NC in conjunction with Pillar Design Studios ( of Chicago, IL and Tempe, AZ to participate in our project.  These firms are some of the best in the specialty field of skatepark creation, and have designed and built some of the best parks in the country including several in New England.   These firms also open up nationwide fundraising channels for us to pursue.

Representatives of each firm will be in Manchester on May 20th to tour and inspect the site, meet with stakeholders and hold a design charrette with park users & area skating enthusiasts to begin the process of redesigning the actual skating park.  

Once designs are in hand, final budget numbers can be secured.  A significant issue still to be determined is whether the existing concrete is structurally sound enough to be improved upon, or if we need to start from scratch.  

Once final analysis & due diligence, designs and costs are in hand, our plan should be fully vetted and fundraising can commence in earnest.  

Of note, the XMVSkate Board has honed in on a revised concept for the Adam Curtis Skatepark.  We are working with our architect to depict a redesigned area concept that opens up the sight lines from Maple Street by reconfiguring the existing Regis Lemire Community Center.  We believe, for example,  if the building was rebuilt to the back of the property, the sight lines to the park would open; thus, minimizing the mischief in the area as well as render the need to enclose or fence the facility mute.   There would be no need to create a membership based model in this concept which was a concern of some on the Lands & Buildings Committee and some users at the skatepark.  

It also could be that razing the garages located in the southerly portion of the existing building and rebuilding an addition to the main building in the rear (east) would accomplish the goals of opening up sight lines and allow the incorporation of the community center into the overall park while minimizing disruption to the current operations of the center.  We continue to believe that the community center building is a critical component to the project as it would provide amenities and an income stream for maintenance and future capital improvements while still accommodating the existing youth programs that operate there (another concern of the Land & Buildings Committee).

These improvements would be coupled with proper lighting and security cameras which conceivably could have a direct feed to the nearby Manchester Police Department.  Based on our research of skateparks nationwide (including in some in the nation’s largest inner cities), we feel confident that a modern, desirable park with open sight lines and all the other improvements will command the respect of the users who should ultimately self- police the park.  This is clearly not happening now.

The skatepark and community center improvements are envisioned as a first phase (2014 timeframe is still realistic if fundraising is successful).  Erecting a pole barn roof allowing the extension of the park’s seasonal use is common across the nation and is envisioned as a 2nd phase.  Also, once final designs and plans are in hand, we’ll be ready to formally approach the City of Manchester with a leasing proposal and operating agreement for the subject properties.

Mr. Chairman and Committee members, I’m hoping to meet again with the Land and Buildings Committee in the near future once new designs are in hand.  I am always happy to answer any questions or field any additional input you have in the interim and appreciate your continued consideration as we wind our way through this project.  We are committed to doing it right, and if successful, we continued to believe the community support will be there.

Sincerely yours,

James T. DeStefano
XMV Project Coordinator

65 Michigan Ave.
Manchester, NH 03104

CC:    The Honorable Mayor Ted Gatsas
    Peter Capano, Parks Department Director
    XMVSkate Board of Directors