Skate park project on right track: Barnum

During a visit Saturday, skate park designer Jim Barnum said the local effort to get one built here next year is one of the most organized community initiatives he’s been involved with.
“They are absolutely heading in the right direction. I hardly had to give them any advice,” said Barnum, who met with the Kiwanis Club’s skate park committee Saturday morning and visited the proposed site.
“Steve [Maki] seems to have the natural ability to do these kinds of things, get people organized and the youth involved to get something done,” he added.
“The number-one aspect of building a skate park is the will to do it,” he noted. “The greatest obstacles are finding the site and getting the money—I think they’ve got it covered.”
The aim of the project is to see a 13,000 sq. ft. concrete park built on the former arena ball diamond next to the Memorial Sports Centre in the spring.
This could cost as much as $300,000.
Barnum, who designed the largest skate park in the world in Calgary two years ago, also met Saturday with about 30 local youths who came out to learn about how to build a skate park.
“I know a lot of you are asking, ‘Is this really going to happen?’ Oh yeah, it’s going to happen,” he said.
“With the parents and people like Steve [Maki] leading the way, and you helping them, nothing will stop it,” he added while doing a presentation in the Memorial Sports Centre’s auditorium.
Barnum noted having skateboarders involved in building a skate park is instrumental in its success, and even encouraged the youth on hand to get physically involved with the construction process—not only to cut costs but so they can see how a park develops from an empty lot.
“Building a skate park is unbelievable. The hardest part is finishing the job—once you see what it’s finally going to look like, you just want to start skating there,” Barnum enthused.
He wrapped up his talk with a session where the skateboarders got to draw up what they wanted in a skate park.
Hailing from Gold Bridge, B.C., Barnum is president of Spectrum Skatepark Creations and also a sponsored amateur skateboarder with 19 years experience under his belt.
His reputation as a skate park designer is growing to international proportions as communities in Mexico, Taiwan, and Spain recently have contacted him to build ones there.
The one in Spain is expected to be two-three acres in size—making it the largest in the world.