The existing Fernie skate park was built in 2001, and has reached the end of its lifespan according to the City of Fernie. Pictured in April 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

The existing Fernie skate park was built in 2001, and has reached the end of its lifespan according to the City of Fernie. Pictured in April 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie’s new skate park plans backed by $1.28 million in grants

The Federal and Provincial governments will be stumping up the majority of costs for the $1,425,080 project

The City of Fernie has managed to secure almost $1.3 million in federal and provincial funding for a new skate park that would replace the existing municipal skate park that was built in 2001.

Funds are split between $712,540 from the federal government, and $570,032 from the provincial government through the Canada Infrastructure Program.

The new skate park for the city will go on the location of the current skate park on the corner of Ridgemont Ave and Pine Ave, next to downtown Fernie. The existing skate park, which is over 20 years old is at the end of its life according to the city.

“This is an exciting project that will renew an important piece of ageing infrastructure and provide for accessible and inclusive recreation in our City,” said Fernie Mayor, Ange Qualizza.

The new skate park will be designed and installed by Vancouver-based company, New Line Skateparks, which was awarded the $1,425,080 contract for the park back in December 2021 by the city, which needed to make the project ‘shovel ready’ and able to be completed within a certain time-frame in order to secure the funds. With $1,282,572 from federal and provincial grants, the $142,508 balance will be made up by municipal funds.

The grant funds were originally applied for back in late 2020, following public engagement that confirmed overwhelming public support for a new skatepark that would also serve as a community hub.

According to the city the park is planned as ‘an integrated, modern, site-built concrete skate park / all wheel park’, and envisioned ‘as part of an outdoor hub for locals and visitors alike to gather, connect, and explore the community.’

The timeline for the project has been extended out though 2023, with the city saying that engagement on the final design of the park would be carried out through 2022 for a 2023 construction target.

“Skate parks build friendship and community, we are looking forward to kicking off engagement and design with the community and New Line Skateparks,” said Qualizza.

The new skate park project is one of 57 in British Columbia that had funding confirmed this week, with more funds landing in the Elk Valley directed towards the rehabilitation of thee old Elkford municipal office into a new community hub.

READ MORE: Fernie edges towards a new skate park



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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