By Cal Braid
Westwind Weekly News
During the August 23 meeting of Town council, Raymond’s Trent Williams appeared as a delegation. He presented a comprehensive project plan to develop a new skate park in town.
Williams is the president of the Raymond Skatepark Association (RSA), and said, “We are trying to plan, design, and fundraise for a permanent, high-quality, world class, concrete skate park. When I say skate park, that includes scooters, BMX, inline skates—everything you can roll on concrete with. It’s not exclusive to skateboarding. What we want is a safe and challenging place for kids and adults to enjoy, have fun, and develop skills while exercising.”
“We also see it as becoming an important part of a larger community gathering space. The Town has already set aside some land for it, and we could see that as being a cool action sports park.”
“We have the committed land from the Town, which is amazing, we so appreciate that.” Williams explained that the group has done fundraising and had donations, so they have some money to work with, but “not nearly enough for a project of this scale.” They have applied for a grant through the Ag Society, and are applying for other grants, as well as making contacts for financial or in-kind donations.
“We know that the budget is extremely tight so we’re not asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Town. We’re just hoping that you help us where you can,” he said.
Council has seen price estimates and noted that the cost seemed very high.
Williams said, “Knowing what they quoted bike park, it’s probably pretty inflated, because the way that company is set up, they almost act like a general contractor, so they would then have to go hire a skateboard park building company. I think there are a number of reasons (the quote is) inflated. Will it be expensive? For sure. We were hoping to stay closer to half a million, but as we learn more, it might be pretty hard to do that. We’ve got a lot of fundraising (to do).”
They have considered the idea of phasing the project over time, but he said, “Obviously it would be ideal if we could do it all at once.” Even without phasing it, it would likely be a two-year project.
Couns. Kindt said that as a council, “We love the idea. It’s just a matter of coming up with the funding.”
Williams has also hatched a stop-gap plan that would involve building a temporary wooden ramp for town users to practice on while they continue to make developments to achieve their greater goal of building a full-scale facility. He said he would consider putting it on the designated land if the site was prepped and ready to allow for a gravel pad and adequate drainage.
The comprehensive plan states the Town of Raymond has already committed to provide the land and design funding. The Town has purchased land east of the Raymond hospital from the province and have committed to build the skatepark at this location. Images attached to the document show the land east of the hospital and south of Highway 52.
Design images of the project are available on the Town’s web page by navigating to the council’s meeting agenda, item 8.1. The link shows drawings and satellite images of the proposal and the land that it would be on.