By Vanessa Broadbent
Now that a company has been chosen for the design and build of a new skatepark in Oliver, all that’s holding the project back is funds – nearly $200,000 worth.
At their Monday meeting, Oliver’s Parks and Recreation Society decided to contract New Line Skateparks from Langley, B.C. to design and build the new park which will be located in the same space as the current skatepark in Lions Park.
In December, the Parks and Recreation department put out a request for proposals, of which three were received.
The proposals were then reviewed by a Small Wheels Advisory Committee who graded each one based on various criteria including experience and qualifications, and work plan and project schedule.
“It was a clear picture to award the project to New Line Skateparks,” said parks and recreation manager Carol Sheridan.
New Line Skateparks has completed over 250 projects internationally, over 60 of which have been in B.C. In the Okanagan, the company designed the Penticton Youth Park, as well as the Peachland Skatepark in 2012.
The Peachland Skatepark was completed with the same operating budget of $200,000, but was built from scratch unlike Oliver’s which will use the existing structure in Lion’s Park.
“We already have a park so we’re ahead of the game,” said Sheridan. “We just have to take out the features that don’t work.”
In their proposal, New Line Skateparks included community consultation as a core component to their design process.
This was outlined as including public design workshops and open houses, and stakeholder meetings including discussion with the community’s youth population.
“We want youth and affected community members to truly feel that they are a part of the project solution and build lasting ownership in the final product,” the proposal reads.
The funds needed to build the park total nearly $200,000: $16,965 to pay New Line Skateparks for the design and $180,000 for the construction.
The department’s 2017 budget included $75,000 for the park but the remaining funds will need to be acquired through grants and fundraising.
Sheridan told the board that although it is uncertain when the fundraising will be completed, the department is greenlighting New Line Skateparks to start with the design so that the project is “shovel ready” when funds are available.
“We just need to raise a whole lot of money,” Sheridan said. “That may take us six months, that may take us six years but when we’re done, we’ll have the plans and we’ll just do it.”