Users of the popular X-treme Skate Park are being asked for their input in the facility’s $200,000 expansion plan.
Landscape architect Mark van der Zalm and NewLine Skate Parks are facilitating a community workshop to gather ideas into the design of the proposed expansion of the skate park, located next to the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, on Oct. 2.
North Cowichan’s director of parks and recreation Ernie Mansueti said skaters, BMX and scooter riders, and interested members of the community, are all welcome to attend the workshop.
He said Jim Barnum from NewLine Skate Parks will provide a presentation about current skate park trends and the evolution of skate parks at the workshop, which will be held at 6 p.m. in the Island Savings Centre’s Mesachie room.
“Like in the design and construction of the skate parks in Crofton and Chemainus, we rely on the users to help determine how the expansion will proceed,” Mansueti said.
The existing skate park, co-owned by North Cowichan and the City of Duncan who will share the costs of the expansion, was constructed in 1997 for $125,000.
The park is considered a key recreational facility in the region and is well-used by boarders, scooters and bikers.
In a report to council last year, 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.
Mansueti said 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.
He said the expansion of the park at this location also 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.
“We’re hoping to start construction of the expansion in November, 2018, and complete in March, 2019,” Mansueti said.
“We can usually get a better bang for our buck by building in winter because the construction companies that build skate parks in Canada are not usually busy in other places at that time.”