Today’s Poll

Nelson Skatepark Location Changes Again

Bill Metcalfe
By Bill Metcalfe
October 12th, 2012

Nelson’s skatepark won’t be built in the lower parking lot of the Community Complex after all. But the City and the Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skatepark Society (KLOSPS) have found another likely location in Rosemont.

A recent geotechnical analysis of the ground under much of the downtown site revealed that it is unstable and would have to removed and replaced with appropriate gravel and fill. That would cost approximately $300,000.

Proponents of the skatepark could be forgiven for being dejected about this latest development, because their persistent search for a site has taken years. But Shane Johansen of KLOSPS is sounding upbeat. “We lost a couple of years there. But now there are enough positives about the new plan, that things are looking good to us.”

New location in Rosemont

The proposed new site is in Art Gibbon Memorial Park in Rosemont near the golf course, on the same site as the bike park.

“We have had some really good success with the bike park in Rosemont,” Mayor John Dooley told The Nelson Daily today.  “The young people that developed that park up there have done a really good job, and the new washrooms are built up there. We have power, we have water, and we have everything that is necessary to continue to develop that site.”

Design more important than location, say organizers

Johansen says New Line Skateparks, who created the design that was planned for the Community Comple site, can adapt it to fit the new location.

He says the quality of the design is more important than the location within Nelson. “We are lucky to have the best design group out there,“ he says.  

“The design will draw people. If we have the best skatepark in the Kootenays, they will come,” Johansen said. “The Rosemont site is a sizeable piece of land. It’s exciting.” He said the park could be built so it could be expanded in the future.

Next steps

Dooley says the City already has a plan for Art Gibbon Park. “We have to drop the skatepark onto that concept and see how it looks.”

“We also received a proposal from the bike park folks to expand the bike park,” says City Manager Kevin Cormack. “We will develop an updated park plan with these features included and bring this back to council. They will then either decide that it is a viable option and bring it for public comment, or decide not to pursue it as a potential location any further.”

Cormack says he expects the updated park plan to come before Council at its December 17, 2012, meeting.

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