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Fernie edges towards a new skate park

The city has awarded a contract for the design and construction of the park, but it needs grant funding before it can proceed
The existing skate park in Fernie is more than 20 years old, and is crumbling. (File Photo)

The City of Fernie has awarded a contract for the design, supply and installation of a new skate park, as the current one has reached the end of its lifespan.

The contract being executed depends on the city securing funding it applied for from the provincial and federal governments back in mid-2020.

Should the funding come through, Vancouver-based New Line Skateparks has been contracted to build the new skate park at a project cost of $1,425,080.

“New Line Skatepark’s proposal gave a clear understanding of the project,” reads the staff report to council.

“The proposal provided confidence to the evaluation committee in New Line’s ability to deliver on public and stakeholder engagement to involve the community in the redevelopment of its skate park as part of a larger envisioned project for the surrounding area as an enhanced outdoor destination hub.”

Manager of Parks, Faciltities and Recreation with the city, Brett Logan, said that New Line Skateparks were “ready to go as soon as they get the go-ahead” on engagement and design, and added that they city hoped to receive word on whether funding would be coming ‘soon’.

The project timeline envisages engagement, design and construction through 2022, with the park open before the end of fall that year. Unfortunately, the existing skatepark would be lost during construction - something which was noted by Councillor Troy Nixon.

“Is there potential for renting another skate park and putting that into our outdoor arena, next to the squatic centre?” he asked during the Dec. 13 council meeting, noting that users of the park would be without a park for an entire season. “Anything you can do … to get these kids another section (for) skating, that would be great.”

According to Logan, city staff are open to allowing use of other, temporary spaces over the summer the new park is constructed.

The grant application was for $1,282,572 from the Canada Infrastructure Program - British Columbia - Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Program grant, which would cover around 90 per cent of the program cost. The remainder would be covered by the city.

According to staff documents, a “comprehensive public communication and engagement program would be led by the successful proponent to refine the final design”.

During public consultation in 2020 prior to pursuing grant funding, respondents indicated a desire for the skate park to be a combined skate park - community hub, with lighting, drinking water, accessibility, washroom facilities and seating areas along with a skate park and all-wheel park that would cater to all skill levels and riding styles.

READ MORE: City of Fernie releases public feedback on new skate park facility
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