North Cowichan council eyes $200K skate park expansion

An expansion to the popular X-treme Skate Park, adjacent to the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, will be considered

An expansion to the popular X-treme Skate Park, adjacent to the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, will be considered today by the Municipality of North Cowichan.

The design of the expansion, which would cost approximately $25,000, is expected to be completed in 2017, while the approximately $200,000 expansion project should be completed in 2018 if the project gets the green light.

The existing skate park, co-owned by North Cowichan and the City of Duncan who would share the costs of the expansion, was constructed in 1997 for $125,000.

The park is considered as a key recreational facility in the region and is well used by boarders, scooters and bikers.

In a report to council, North Cowichan’s director of parks and recreation Ernie Mansueti said users have continuously requested that the park be upgraded or expanded to meet the numerous advances in skate-park designs.

He said that a few years ago, the City of Duncan’s junior council also made a recommendation to expand the park and introduce an area better suited for beginner skaters.

‘The current location and property allows for expansion to the north in an area that is presently underutilized, and is well suited for an expansion,” Mansueti said. “The expansion of the park at this location has a number of advantages, including increasing utilization of the property, open and visible site lines, parking, nearby public washrooms, lights, proximity to a high school, a bus stop and it is centrally located.”

Mansueti said, as with the current park, users would be a key element in providing design suggestions.

The X-treme Skate Park is just the latest skate park North Cowichan has been working on in the municipality.

Another 4,800 square-foot one in Crofton is scheduled to be completed early in the new year, at an estimated cost of approximately $200,000.

The Chemainus Skate Park, valued at approximately $350,000, opened in early 2015.