Kennedy Park basketball courts moving today

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LEWISTON – Kennedy Park basketball players will get ousted today while the city makes room for a new skate park.

City parks crews will start digging into the ground around the court’s green concrete wall to see how strong it is

“We need to find out just how structurally sound that wall is because it could become an integral part of the new skate park,” said Phil Nadeau, deputy city administrator.

They’ll remove the two sets of baskets that make up the two courts, moving one pair along Park Street next to the bathhouse. A single replacement court should open in one or two days, Nadeau said.

“There may be some lag time, between taking down the old ones and putting up the new ones,” he said. “We’ll really keep it to the minimum.”

Basketball players will be directed to other downtown courts until the temporary court is ready. The city has basketball courts in Potvin Park, on Cedar Street across from the Franco-American Heritage Center, and behind the Longley School off of Birch Street.

“We know they might be a bit more of walk, but they are there and they are open,” Nadeau said.

City crews will spend the next few weeks stabilizing the site and getting it ready for the 12,000-square-foot skating attraction.

Construction of the skate park, a concrete bowl with ramps, jumps and street-like obstacles for skateboarders and inline skaters, is scheduled to begin after May 15.

The skate park will be joined by a new bathhouse for swimmers, a new fountain for children to play in and relocated playground equipment. Councilors approved spending $500,000 of federal community block grants to start that work now.

Two new basketball courts also are part of the plans, Nadeau said.

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