Building it doesn’t mean they’ll come

Chemainus – I read Andrea’s piece about the skate park in Chemainus with some interest as I wonder whether this is less about a need and more about an inability to back away from a promise made 20 years ago.

From simple observation, the skate park at Frank Jameson is used very infrequently and by what looks like a core group of maybe 10-12 boys.

Driving by the one in Duncan, it seems there too that it is not used all that frequently in a community with many more youth. Skateboarding is an interest of mainly males.

Rarely do you see a young girl riding a board. It is also cyclical in interest except for the die hard users.

However to me the telling observation about Chemainus, which I walk around at least six days a week year round, is that rarely do you see anyone on a skateboard on the streets.

So just who would we be building this thing for?

If you ask the kids, would they like a skateboard park in town, of course they will say yes.

If you ask them more probing questions about usage, frequency etc. the answers would be quite different.

Seems to me we will spend $350,000 to provide an asset that sits as a white elephant most of the time so a handful of maybe 10 kids can use it sporadically.

There just has to be a better reason to spend this money than a 20-year-old commitment to a group of young people who have moved on.

Building it does not necessarily me they will come!

Alex Currie (Sr.) Chemainus