It’s a push in the right direction for the Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skatepark Society.
On Tuesday night at the Hume Hotel, the society hosted a brainstorming session as it prepares to get down to serious work over the next year. With land secured adjacent to the Nelson and District Community Complex, a glimpse into the future was provided by New Line Skateparks Inc. who have been secured to make the dream of an outdoor facility come to life.
“This was a community forum to start to decide what we are actually going to shape and put into this park,” says society director Shane Johnsen. “Are we having a bowl, are we just having a street plaza? A lot of those early decisions are very important so we can get out of New Line a proper quote and get into the design process properly.”
New Line vice president Trevor Morgan provided an overview of what his company plans to do over the next few months. The veteran skatepark designer also showed the group of 20-plus in attendance some of the impressive work done in the recent past.
New Line has designed parks of all shapes and sizes across British Columbia and the world. One of the leading park designers on the planet, they work with some of the best in the industry including mega-star Rob Dyrdek.
“New Line is the most progressive design firm out there,” says Johnsen. “If we want a park that stands out, they are the guys to go with.”
Though New Line was in town to show what it can do for locals, this stop was mostly about listening.
“It’s incredibly important to have the youth highly involved in what is going to be designed,” says Johnsen.
The society has been working to bring an outdoor park to Nelson for almost a decade. City and regional governments have provided several options for locations and there have been plenty of failures getting to this point. With the Regional District of Central Kootenay now committing to providing just over 10,000 square feet of land beside the NDCC, the real work has begun.
Morgan told the crowd on Tuesday night that the cost to build an outdoor skatepark ranges between $40 and $45 per square foot. The fundraising target is set at between $400,000 and $500,000 for the local effort. Currently the society has just under $50,000 in the bank.
New Line will now take back some of the ideas garnered at the Tuesday meeting and prepare a preliminary design. Johnsen says that could take up to six weeks. The design will be put on display and then tweaked until it satisfies as many skateboarders as possible.
Though a huge fundraising mountain is left to climb, Morgan told those in attendance that once the design is set in stone it is easier to secure grants and other donations.