by Andrew Bennett on May 16 2013
by Andrew Bennett on May 16 2013
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by Kyra Hoggan on Wednesday May 15 2013
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GALLERY: Skatepark design unveiled, construction set to begin in 2013
The Rossland Skatepark Association (RSA) unveiled their skatepark design to an enthusiastic audience at a public meeting on Monday. Now the RSA has given the go-ahead to design consultant Spectrum Skateparks to make final modifications to the plan and assemble a cost estimate in preparation for the next big push: fundraising.
"It was a good meeting," said the RSA's Robin Strachan. "The design was positively received by all in attendance and we got good direction to go forward with the designer."
The RSA provided drawings to the roughly 20 participants, who were encouraged to make sketches, suggest changes, or write out ideas or comments. RSA board members also circulated the room, talking to people individually, and they passed out a questionnaire to ask whether the design meets the criteria established for the designer in previous public meetings.
"From what we could tell, yes, the design meets the criteria," Strachan said. He added that some useful feedback will be folded into the design: "We'll integrate different features and structures to make things a little more friendly, useful. We're also keeping an eye out for the different demographics, from kids to intermediates to professionals."
On that issue, Strachan was especially happy that a skateboard instructor and youth coordinator from the Castlegar skatepark chose to come and offer advice based on his experiences.
Now the design will close in on its final shape. "We're pretty much there as we are now," Strachan said. "There are likely to be further refinements leading up to actual construction, but the shape, size, and format is what Rossland is looking for."
In the photo gallery below, the design includes elements intended to reflect the heritage of Rossland, particularly the history of the Emcon lot as the old rail yard. "The design uses train tracks, a pole jam made out of train tracks, and the fencing that parallels Washington mimics the look of railway cross-bracing and ties," Strachan explained.
Another element to look out for is the shade structure in the southwest of the park.
"We're working with a couple local folks—Jorge Rivas and Brian Coulter—interested in donating a timber frame shade structure. We're very excited to be able to include that in the design to provide an area protected from rain, to give shade in the afternoon and to try and extend use into 3 and possibly 4 seasons—if people are interested in shovelling out the bowl at certain times of year!"
"More work is required to refine that section," he added.
Other refinements to the actual features will be required because Rossland's skatepark is unique, with elements pulled from other designs. Consequently, some fine-tuning may be required for certain dimensions, such as radius sizes, and specific placement of structures.
"Hopefully we will approach council in August to present the work completed to date and look for their approval of the design. That will start the process to rezone Emcon from light industrial to park space," Strachan said. "We're still working on a timeline to start construction in 2013."
That makes fundraising the next major step. Construction drawings and a detailed budget will be prepared shortly to help focus fundraising efforts on in-kind services and material donations in addition to financial contributions, but Strachan already has a rough idea of what it may cost.
Typically, he said, the complete design and build of a skatepark costs $50 per square foot. The park is about 12,000 square feet, so the total cost could run to $600,000—but that's not likely, Strachan said, because of some savings already realized and other savings he hopes will come along.
"We can quite quickly subtract the cost of design from that," he said. RSA's efforts have already reduced design costs from about $60,000 down to $20,000. The full price would also include contracting out the entire project and paying full market value for goods and services. "We're hoping to cut that number in half,” Strachan said.
Keep an eye out for a finalized sponsorship package that Strachan said the RSA will send out to the community and local businesses to ask for their support and show how that support will be recognized.
Notably absent from the meeting were any detractors. A recent exchange in the Rossland Telegraph's comments suggests some people still oppose the skatepark plan.
"We've tried to be as open as possible throughout the process, including neighbours and people with concerns." Strachan said. "We did our best to inform people ahead of time about meetings and process. We contacted neighbours directly. We put a lot of effort into that, and I feel we've gone over and above the call of duty to include those people's comments and concerns.”
“I'm disappointed someone used the Telegraph as a forum to bring up those concerns because we've gone through a public process and discussed these points," he said.
"I'm very happy to see we've been able to see people come forward and provide support," he added, about the show of support for the RSA that the comments illicited. "It reinforces for me that the community is behind us. It's unfortunate to take a step back and see these comments come through—it's not something we're looking to reopen or address at this time. Ultimately it comes down to a decision from council to proceed and go ahead with this project.”
The gallery of design pictures below includes topographic maps of the Emcon lot and the skatepark's position on it.