|Location and design confirmed for skatepark|
|Local Content - Local News|
|Written by Trevor Busch|
|Thursday, 14 June 2012 16:40|
A location and preliminary design including funding targets have been determined for a proposed skatepark project in Vauxhall.
At the June 4 meeting, town council voted unanimously to allocate enough area to accommodate a 7,000 square foot skatepark within the boundaries of the Legion Park, north of the tree row adjacent to the playground, and west of the tennis courts. The proposed skatepark would consume roughly one quarter of an available 30,000 square feet.
In 2010, the original community skatepark located in the north tennis court was dismantled due to structural safety concerns. In 2011, a community-driven skatepark committee was initiated by Coun.(s) Martha Bueckert and Dave Nielsen to spearhead the design and development of a new skatepark. Subsequent to that initiative, town council commissioned Hardcore Skate Parks to facilitate community input, develop a design concept, and supply material/build information for the design.
“We’re just looking to get approval for location, so we can move forward,” said Nielsen, prior to the vote.
A three-phase design has also been proposed, with the first 3,125 square foot phase projected to cost $136,692, plus installation costs.
Two further phases, a proposed 3,566 square foot addition, is projected to cost a further $125,979, plus installation costs. A third and final phase is projected at $34,472, for a total estimated project cost of $297,143.
“Personally, I was taken aback a little,” said Mayor Gordon Brown, referring to the estimated total cost of the proposed skatepark. “That’s going to be a pretty fantastic skatepark. Are we going to hold some competitions?”
Neilsen countered the first phase of the project was actually not large in size by comparison to other facilities.
“It’s not really that big. Fifty by 60 feet is 3,000 square feet.”
Cost projections do not include any necessary on-site supervisor, grading, earthwork, footers, retaining walls or berming which are deemed to be installation costs.
“The quote that was provided by Hardcore Skate Parks, that’s how it was estimated, because they want to use local contractors, so they did an estimate on the work, but it doesn’t include the labour to grade it and do all of that stuff,” said CAO Barb Miller.
Brown was pleased to see a three-phase approach to the project.
“I think originally that’s what we thought we’d do, is to do it in two or three phases. I’m happy to see that’s the direction you’re going.”
Administration has been advised that capital costs for all concrete skate parks range between $30-$40 per square foot, but can escalate to as high as $50-$60 per square foot. By comparison, the design and construction costs for Taber’s 13,000 square foot skatepark in 2007 were $411,480, or $31.65 per square foot. An additional $113,219 was spent on sod replacement, irrigation and paved pathways.
Coun. Russell Norris questioned how much of the proposed cost of the facility is expected to be covered by community fundraising and grant opportunities.
“I’m concerned about the funding, the $136,692 in phase one. How much of that is going to be fundraisers, grants, et cetera? I don’t know if you have a percentage. I not asking for definite figures, I was just wondering if you had a rough number.”
Nielsen suggested a good portion of the initial costs could potentially be covered through grants.
“A Community Facilities Enhancement Grant is $125,000. Taber managed to get that. We can’t apply for anything yet — we need to have a location.”
CAO Miller indicated receiving a grant might not be as easy as Nielsen’s comment would suggest.
“The town can’t apply to receive that. We’d have to ask the ag society or something like that. Municipalities used to be able to apply for grants under that program, but they can’t any longer. With the CFEP grant, it’s at least a 50 per cent matching grant.”
According to CAO Barb Miller’s written proposal, funding considerations for the project have been placed on the agenda for the upcoming capital budget meeting.
“I have no problem with it, once I got off the floor after looking at the cost,” said Brown. “I think if we don’t shoot for the moon or stars, we’re never going to get there.”
Prior to the vote, Hagen expressed concern over the wording of the proposed motion.
“I think it’s great the committee has come this far, and I don’t want to hold them back whatsoever. But the proposed motion, I’m a little concerned about the wording. I wouldn’t want the motion to be interpreted that the town is building it.”
Miller expressed the opinion that seeking a large funding target will be a difficult challenge.
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