Skate park plans to change But it will be built: Tovey

After having its sights set for a few years on a cement “bowl” design for a skate park here, the local Kiwanis skate park committee is tired of waiting and so will be scrapping the idea to go for something that can be built as soon as possible.
“We want to modify the plans for the skate park. We’re going to go to a modular design,” said Kiwanis president Rob Tovey, who’s taken over from Steve Maki as head of the skate park committee.
He noted the previous design was not only more costly (it was estimated to cost about $250,000), but it also sparked numerous setbacks with the town.
These included a disagreement over whether the park site would take up parking spaces at the Memorial Sports Centre, as well as a water line that ran under where the cement skate park was to be built which would have to be moved at the skate park committee’s expense.
“We don’t want to wait another three years. We have to get this done now,” said Tovey.
Tovey noted while the modular design, which will feature permanent ramps, rails, and other features skateboarders have seen in skate parks elsewhere, may not be quite “as nice as the bowl,” it still will be a professional skate board park designed by experts in the field.
Tovey said the skate park committee currently has about $110,000 pledged to the project, with other sources of funding, like a grant from the Trillium Foundation, still possible.
“I’m thinking the minimum amount we’d need for a skate park would be $150,000. We’ll shoot for $175,000,” he noted.
“I’d like to have plans drawn up for skate parks costing $150,000, $175,000, and $200,000,” he remarked, adding that with a modular park, it can be expanded as more money becomes available for more equipment.
Tovey also said having a clear—and immediately attainable—goal for the skate park should help revive public support and get the project done by next spring.
“People are starting to doubt whether it will happen,” he admitted. “We need the positive reinforcement.”
Details of the modifications and future plans for fundraising will be discussed at a skate park committee meeting tentatively scheduled for this Monday (Nov. 1) at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Sports Centre.
Maki, who spearheaded the proposed project back in 2002, has stepped down from that role because he’s found he just can’t give as much effort as he’d like to any more.
“I helped to get it going. But ever since I started my new job in April, I just haven’t had the same time,” he said. “I’d definitely like to see it get done.”