Chaplin Street location a go for new skate park

It’s a go for a new skatepark at 1537 Chaplin St. in Crofton.

It’s a go for a new skatepark at 1537 Chaplin St. in Crofton.

A successful open house on Nov. 30 yielded nothing but acceptance of the new location by the 35 attendees, which included potential users, nearby residents and even business owners.

“I thought it was fantastic — the support from the community for the new location. It was amazing,” Councillor Kate Marsh said at the Wednesday, Dec. 16 council meeting.

Members of the public did make some recommendations they felt would enhance the project, however.

Some wanted a new, lit, crosswalk installed at the corner of Queen and Chaplin Streets. Others wanted to retain the buffer of trees presently between the BC Ferries parking lot and the road.

Others still wished the park would close at 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m.

The would-be users have asked council for a “street style” design, using ramps and rails instead of a “vert style” park which would see half pipes and jumps.

Back in November, North Cowichan council agreed in principal to a location on Chaplin Street but had wanted to take the issue to the community for feedback before proceeding.

The skate park in Crofton is currently located behind the community centre in amongst other recreational opportunities like tennis courts and ball fields.

That was the preferred location but further investigation revealed that there were significant problems with the ground in the area. The soil make-up made it cost-prohibitive to rebuilt in its current location.

Municipal staff looked at four potential sites before recommending Chaplin Street. The local community centre leadership and the area’s skate park group are in favour of the new site.

Ernie Mansueti, the municipal parks and recreation director said up next is the creation of a draft concept design, which will be brought to the user group for feedback. A builder will then be found.

“We will hopefully start building in March/April,” he said.