The final design for Fernie’s redeveloped skatepark is one step closer to realization following the second concept workshop held on Thursday (Nov. 3).
Between 20 and 25 people were gathered for the workshop Thursday evening at the Fernie Community Centre, which featured a presentation from Newline Skateparks followed by open discussion about the park concepts.
Trevor Morgan, vice president with Newline Skateparks, said that the gathering was to discuss preliminary concept directions reflecting feedback received at an introductory workshop held in June to set the overall guiding principles for the project in terms of terrain-style priorities and functional elements for future users.
He said it was also to look at support amenities for places to sit, accessibility for disabled users and visitors, the relationship to the nearby parking lot and site parameters.
“This is our first take on all that feedback,” Morgan said.
“We have two options, and then the goal from this evening and an online survey… is to hopefully identify one of the two directions that people are gravitating to more, or maybe a combination, and then use that info and develop the final design, which we’ll come back with and present in January.”
Broadly describing the two concept options, Morgan said one has a larger bowl area and a more linear technical street line, with a mini ramp. The second has a bit of a smaller, enclosed bowl area, but a larger street obstacle line and flow area.
The concepts were outlined in detail in the presentation and survey sheet available to workshop attendees.
“What we anticipate is that we’ll probably maybe even see a combination at the end, depending on what the feedback is. But hopefully some good food for thought here.”
The results of the first survey, which according to a City of Fernie spokesperson had about 85 respondents, touched on many different potential design elements.
Morgan summarized the original feedback as follows.
“Lots of diversity in terrain. There’s a strong interest in bowl-style terrain, which we’ll see reflected in the design. But is still a healthy mix of street and what we’d call obstacle-style terrain.”
On top of that, he said, was making sure they have opportunities to grow and progress.
“So, opportunities for beginner, right through to an advanced skater.”
“Lots of staging area. Clear lines, and then attention to seating areas, and just where people watch and sit, and making it a really inviting environment for the entire community, whether or not you’re a primary user.”
Morgan said it’s exciting to see how much interest there is from the community in creating “a really rich public space on top of an amazing skate park.”
“One of the other things we mentioned tonight is getting the feedback now about how do we layer on some artistic and thematic elements that really capture the story of: what’s Fernie? What’s going to be the signature of this park.”
The City of Fernie will be collecting feedback on the design concepts through an online survey, which will close on Nov. 17 at 4 p.m.
Morgan said they would be coming back in January to present the final concept through detailed 3D photo-realistic renderings.
“At that point we’re hoping we’ve really nailed most of the details and anything that we’re tweaking at that point is quite minor,” he said.
“And then we’ll get into our engineer drawings and then hopefully hit the ground for construction in May.”