Skate park mov­ing quickly

Good weather has lon­gawaited project ahead of sched­ule

The Beacon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - JONATHAN JUHA STAFF RE­PORTER

Years in the mak­ing, a project to build a new skate park in the city may have fi­nally gained some speed, with lo­cal staff not rul­ing out an ear­lier open­ing date for the new fa­cil­ity in Shake­speare Park.

Plagued with de­lays since its in­cep­tion close to a decade ago – some of the project’s road­blocks have in­cluded dis­cus­sions on the best lo­ca­tion for the park and find­ing a con­trac­tor to ac­tu­ally build the project – re­cent good weather has al­lowed New Line Skateparks, the com­pany build­ing the park, to move at a quicker pace than ini­tially ex­pected.

The lack of rain over the last few weeks and a very spe­cial­ized work­ing crew have con­trib­uted to the faster con­struc­tion pace, said Jim Bryson, man­ager of fa­cil­i­ties for the city’s com­mu­nity ser­vices depart­ment.

“This is also a very spe­cial­ized con­trac­tor,” he said. “This is what they do only, build skate parks, so they are ex­perts in that field.”

Con­struc­tion of Phase 1 of the project be­gan two weeks ago, with staff now pro­ject­ing the con­trac­tor, which has been work­ing six days a week on the project, will be fin­ished with Phase 1 in the next four weeks.

Af­ter that, the city will start work­ing on im­prov­ing the ground sur­round­ing the park.

“As long as we have de­cent weather, that will likely take a week,” Bryson said.

City staff will also be in­stalling a fence to di­vide the skate park and the train tracks, which could take an ad­di­tional three to four days.

But de­spite the good pace, Bryson wouldn’t com­mit to giv­ing an ex­act date for when the park will be open to the pub­lic, say­ing that the good luck they have had so far could quickly change.

“When you are in con­struc­tion, some­times you can run into road­blocks,” he said. “We just haven’t run into one yet, but that is not to say that we won’t”

Yet he also ad­mit­ted be­ing ex­cited about the project get­ting done this fast.

“Here at the com­mu­nity ser­vices depart­ment we are thrilled that we are fi­nally able to put the project for­ward, as it has been in the plan­ning stage for many years,” he said. jjuha@post­media.com

JONATHAN JUHA/THE

New Line Skateparks crew mem­bers work Thurs­day on Strat­ford’s new skate park. Re­cent good weather has al­lowed the project to move faster than ini­tially ex­pected.

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