Skate park work almost done But not quite ready for use

Phase II of the work on the new Kiwanis skate park, which began last Wednesday, should be wrapped up by this weekend.
“They’ve got to do grouting all week,” noted committee chairman Rob Tovey. “It depends on the weather. If the weather stays like it is, they won’t get done.
“But if it’s good Thursday and Friday, it should be finished by the weekend,” he added.
Tovey noted all of the components are in place, and some of the grouting on them has been done.
“And then they’re going to paint it so the grouting matches the components, so they’re all kind of a greyish colour, so it all blends in,” he remarked.
In the meantime, Tovey said skateboarders and BMX bikers will have to be patient and wait for the weekend, since the site will be closed off during the grouting process.
“The park’s not done,” he stressed. “I know a lot of kids are anxious to get on it, but we don’t need an accident now or anytime. And right now, with the park not done, that’s my concern.
“We’re putting a snow fence around the park [since] we don’t want it used between now and the weekend.”
The skate park committee also has been discussing how to monitor the park, and is having signs made up with rules on them. These should posted by Friday and also may appear in a future edition of the Times and/or Daily Bulletin.
“[For instance], we want to make sure bikes aren’t allowed on there unless they’re BMX bikes. It’s very unsafe for road bikes, or whatever, to be on that park,” Tovey said.
“If they catch it wrong, there could be injuries,” he warned.
“It’s got to be approved apparatus for that type of park,” he stressed. “It’s not that we’re being biased against bike riders. That type of bike [BMX] is designed for that type of park.
“So, only BMX bikes, in-line skates, and skateboards will be allowed in the park for safety reasons.”
Another rule is that the park only is to be used daylight hours since there’s no nighttime lighting there. Again, said Tovey, this is for safety reasons.
For those who haven’t checked out the site, which is located just north of the Memorial Sports Centre, the $250,000, 9,500 sq. ft. skate park features an array of ramps, rails, and stairs.
Skate park contractor Barkman Concrete hails the park as having a “developmental design,” meaning it allows new skateboarders and in-line skaters the opportunity to learn while experienced ones have the chance to increase and expand their skills.
< *c>Fundraising continues
But while the park is expected to be ready by this weekend, the committee’s work is far from over.
Tovey noted installation of the park this year only was made possible when Barkman Concrete agreed to extend the terms of payment for the equipment until the end of March, 2006.
And although more than half the cost of the site work, pad installation, and equipment has been paid for through fundraising, the committee still has to raise the balance in the coming months—roughly $112,000 in all.
One initiative organizers are hoping will bring in significant dollars is a “skate-a-thon” planned for Saturday, Oct. 15 from 1-4 p.m. at the skate park.
Local skateboarders will be collecting pledges over the next week-and-a-half.
Pledge forms will be available at local schools, and there will be prizes for the top three pledge-getters.
M&M Meat Shops also will be on hand selling food to help raise money for the skate park.
Meanwhile, committee members also will continue to push the “Brick the Park” campaign to local individuals and businesses.
While numerous businesses already have purchased blocks of bricks, the committee admitted getting the public’s support right now is crucial to its ultimate success.
It hopes to see even more people buy those bricks now that the skate park is all but completed.
Bricks cost $100 each, and will be installed to form a patio surrounding the skate park, with individual, family, or company names on each brick (or set of bricks).
This patio will be built next spring.
Anyone wanting to buy bricks, or simply make a donation, can drop by Skates & Blades (648 Scott St.), or call Tovey (274-6113), Keith Knapp (274-7447), or Duane Cridland (274-7716).