It’s been a long road, but construction of the Rossland Skatepark is underway and is expected to be completed by the fall.
Robin Strachan, president of the Rossland Skatepark Association (RSA), has been working towards this for 10 years now, and as he stood on the skatepark site on Friday, June 23, dressed in a hardhat and safety vest, he said, “It’s pretty surreal to be able to look around and see it actually coming together. You know, all the meetings and the work with the city and the community, the fundraising, the planning and designing — it’s been a mountain to move to get to this stage right now.”
The RSA has raised over $300,000 to build the skatepark, some of which has already been spent getting to the construction stage, and just recently received a $5,000 Kootenay Savings Community Foundation grant.
“We’ve got around $280,000 for the construction to work through right now, so our main plan is to really focus on building the bowl portion of the skatepark, which is kind of the most difficult and time-consuming and, of course, cost-consuming portion of the park,” said Strachan.
The remaining funds will be used to add street sections to the park.
So far, drainage has been installed, thanks to Copcan contributing a week’s worth of work.
The process hit a slight snag when unexpected bedrock was discovered during excavation, but Copcan worked with the RSA to keep the project moving forward.
“They were great and were able to work with us on some drainage and design changes, and make it happen and working around everything to pull it together,” said Strachan. “So that was a massive donation that they provided to the community from Copcan in an effort to get the drainage in.”
The outline of the park has already been excavated and the next stage will be to start shaping it.
Strachan asks members of the community to respect the construction site and keep off of the site while the park begins to take shape.
“We want to make sure that everybody kind of respects that it’s a construction site and work is in progress and we don’t need any setbacks,” he said.
With some much work being donated in-kind it’s hard to say exactly when construction will be complete, but Strachan anticipates the park will be ready to skate in September or October.
Strachan is also excited that the Rossland Youth Action Network’s new home will be right next to the park, providing a public washroom and also creating a shared space where the community can gather and have fun.
The RSA is still looking for donations and efforts, and is hoping to raise another $20,000 over the summer.