Skate park plans cut yet again

The plans for a skate park here have changed again after the committee decided to make it smaller and more affordable—with the aim to start pouring concrete next month.
The newest plans have the skate park measuring 80’x120’ (or 9,600 sq. ft.), Rob Tovey, who has been spearheading the skate park campaign along with Rod McLeod, said at a meeting last night.
Before the re-design, which was done over the weekend with the help of designer Andrew Kondrat of Winnipeg-based Barkman Concrete Ltd., the plans had detailed a skate park covering well over 14,000 sq. ft.
This size, in turn, was modified from the original plans from several years ago, which featured a concrete bowl and slab measuring closer to 16,000 sq. ft.
“We’re trying to be realistic in our approach,” said Tovey, adding the scaled-down park still contains many of the same components (ramps, rails, stairs, etc.) of the most recent design.
“We looked at every other town with skate parks or building skate parks—Kenora, Dryden, Thunder Bay, Baudette—and ours still will be bigger,” he added.
McLeod noted the reality of how large a 9,600 sq. ft. park would be sunk in when he found out a large skate park he had been admiring in Winnipeg was only 6,000 sq. ft.
Committee member Duane Cridland added the area of the Memorial Sports Centre parking lot currently used by skateboarders only amounts to around 300 sq. ft.
The skate park committee held a meeting yesterday evening to update its members of the changes—and a majority approved the revised plans.
The committee now has to confirm a price for a scaled-down version of the park with the contractor and sign a deal. The cost of the scaled-down park is estimated to be around $120,000.
An order then will be placed for the concrete components (ramps,
stairs, and other structures), which would take about six weeks to make and then be shipped here for installation.
In the meantime, a local contractor would be hired to lay down a concrete base at the site. This could take between four and five weeks, and could start as soon as mid-May, said Tovey.
Once the modular components arrive here, they can be installed in about two weeks.
If the components are ordered by the beginning of May, the park potentially could be completed in July.
“The sooner we can put in an order, the sooner we can get the pieces, the sooner we can get this built,” said Tovey.
“We should be skating by the 15th of July,” added Cridland.
But before starting any of the ground work, the committee also has to sign a site plan agreement with the town, which may happen at the May 2 meeting of council.
Tovey noted the town will be doing the grading for the park, as well as deal with drainage.
Public Works already has surveyed the site and staked out the 9,600 sq. ft. area on the north side of the Memorial Sports Centre.

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