News

Welland skatepark construction to begin next week

Laura Barton

By Laura Barton, Tribune Staff

After 10 years in the making, Welland’s new skatepark will be complete at its new location on the west side of the recreational canal in approximately 12 weeks.

The estimated $650,000-project’s funding includes over $216,000 from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and $433,333 from the city of Welland. The new park, made of concrete, will feature a bowl, three-quarter pipe and other features over its 8,000-square-foot surface. The funding also goes towards lighting, parking and bathrooms.

James O’Neill, facilities project manager with Welland, said he expects the new skatepark will last decades. The property is just off of Lincoln Street, across the canal from the Welland Community Wellness Centre.

“On this side (of the canal), we have a layer of sand and gravel. It’s hard, solid clay. It’s meant for building a piece of heavy concrete,” he said.

“This is a good place for building this; it will last longer.”

Where the current skatepark is on the other side of the canal behind the Welland Arena and the wellness centre, he said the ground is soft and has a lot of organic material from when the canal was dug up.

He said if the new skatepark is well taken care of, it could last as long as 50 years.

Considering the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) has been plugging away at this project for 10 years, it seems very much like it will be taken care of.

Leo Paraskevopoulos, 16, is a current executive member of MYAC and said the skatepark has always been one of the main goals for the youth council members. Many of their fundraising projects were to try to get funding for the new park, which O’Neill said can go to add-ons to the space and aren’t part of the project budget.

Although Paraskevopoulos wasn’t a part of the original push for the project, he said it’s great to see it coming to fruition now.

“I find it great that Welland has another place for adults and teenagers to relax in their free time,” he said of the park.

Welland Mayor Frank Campion took a moment to recognize the youth that have put so much effort into making this skatepark a reality. He said it will be something that Wellanders can be proud of and proud to use.

O’Neill said there will be free Wi-Fi will be coming across from the community centre. In addition to that, a webcam will be set up, which is part of an initiative set up with the Niagara Regional Police to ensure the park stays as safe as possible.

On Wednesday, the ground breaking for the new skatepark, the new parking area was put in.

Next week is when the main work will kick off, and weather providing, it will be done in that 12-week period.

“We’re going to keep going as long as the weather is good,” O’Neill said.

As for the old skatepark, O’Neill said it will eventually be decommissioned and its parts likely sent to the scrapyard. He said it’s past its life and trying to repurpose anything would only be a liability.

lbarton@postmedia.com

Twitter: @LBartonTribune 



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