A decision to tear down and then rebuild a skatepark next to the multiplex is still in discussion. The District of Port Hardy has planned the multiplex for a couple years now. In original multiplex layouts the renewal of a skatepark was “not in scope,” though that may change in coming discussions.
If grant funding goes through, the district plans to build the new skatepark with a budget of around $300,000.
Chief administrative officer McCarrick said that “it’s still in a work in progress. We haven’t applied for funding yet, but we’re still in discussion with council.”
“It’s still early in the process, we have until January 23 to apply,” she commented. “The grants aren’t given until next Fall.” The grant money would cover 100 per cent of project costs for communities with a population of under 5,000.
She added that the district will apply under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program within the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure stream of funding. McCarrick concluded that recreation funding does in fact fall under that stream, so funding for a skatepark will come out of that pool of grant money.
According to the district, the multiplex project will come in two phases.
The first phase would be the completion of the new aquatic centre. Skateboarders are wary of the second stage, however, which is the new skatepark construction. Grant funding is competitive amongst BC municipalities, but council is hopeful. The district plans to tear down the existing pool building to make room for the possibly new skatepark.
The district has already received nearly half of the required funds of the total cost of the multiplex project, though no funds were designated to a new skatepark.
The Kyle Scow Memorial Skatepark came about from concerted efforts led by Stephen Ralph, a former councillor for the district. The original skatepark ranged around $20,000 with extensive volunteer efforts and donations from residents in the north island region. He spearheaded the Port Hardy Skateboard Club Society, which was responsible for fundraising to cover all the costs of the Kyle Scow Memorial Skatepark.
The district chose not to donate to the Kyle Scow Memorial Skatepark since it did not fit in the yearly budget, but that did not stop Ralph. Instead, the district gave the green light to build it on district land, mentioned Ralph.
Mayor and council along with CAO McCarrick supported the possibility of a new skatepark in the Gazette article last year, but at the end of the day the district relies heavily on grant money to build the new skatepark.
Council has also decided to keep the Kyle Scow Memorial Skatepark name.