Sylvan skatepark still a go despite rising price tag

Sylvan Lake skateboarders will have their own place to grind and ollie in by next spring. Despite estimates that came in about $90,000 over the town’s $300,000 budget, Sylvan Lake town council voted to keep the project rolling last week and awarded a tender for a new skatepark.

Sylvan Lake skateboarders will have their own place to grind and ollie in by next spring.

Despite estimates that came in about $90,000 over the town’s $300,000 budget, Sylvan Lake town council voted to keep the project rolling last week and awarded a tender for a new skatepark. John Eastwood, the town’s recreation, parks and culture department, said an application for provincial funding has already been submitted to cover the shortfall. The Optimist Club of Sylvan Lake has agreed to apply for a $125,000 grant on the community’s behalf. The local skateboarding community also raised about $5,000.

Even if that money doesn’t come through, the project is a go. Council agreed to take about $90,000 out of a parks capital reserve fund to cover any shortfall.

Veteran skatepark builders Maple Ridge, B.C.-based New Line Skateparks, which has built more than 100 skateparks around the world, including parks in Olds and Ponoka, got the nod to build the facility. The company was the sole bidder on the project.

Construction has already started at the site, with a small picnic shelter and a storage shed cleared away from the future home of the park next to the town’s Four Seasons Park.

How much work will get done this fall will depend on Mother Nature.

“Weather is a huge factor,” said Eastwood. “We’ll get hopefully a month out of the season here and maybe into November a little bit.

“New Line aims to get a lot of the foundation work in. They will probably pour concrete before the snow flies.”

The rest of the work will be completed next spring and it’s hoped skateboarders and BMX bike riders can do their thing before the end of April if the weather co-operates.

Designs for the project show that more than a dozen features are planned, including a five-stair step with rail, a wedge to wedge with rooftop ledge and rail, cantilevered quarter pipe, a slappy bank and other challenges.

To give the facility a little more flash, council agreed to spend another $7,400 for tan-coloured concrete and $17,100 for finished landscaping.

“The coloured concrete is a nice little added touch. It give its a little more aesthetically pleasing look,” he said.

“Council was adamant they wanted to do it the right way the first time.”

Eastwood said New Line has a good reputation.

“They’re one of the best ones out there and we were happy to have them on board as far as the design process goes,” he said. “Even though it went over-budget we know the work that they do is top notch and their references were second to none.”

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