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Final all-wheeled park design approved

Barrhead’s park and recreation director expects groundbreaking to happen in early to mid-May with completion of the first phase by late August
all-wheel park final design copy
Town of Barrhead councillors approved the final design for the all-wheel skatepark at the April 26 council meeting. Groundbreaking is expected sometime in early May, with completion of the first phase of the park scheduled for late August.

BARRHEAD - If all things go as planned, Barrhead's new all-wheel park will be in use this summer. 

That is the projected timeline parks and recreation director Shallon Touet gave Town of Barrhead councillors during their April 26 meeting. 

Later in the meeting, councillors unanimously approved the final design for the new all-wheel park. 

The new park will be located on municipally-owned property near the old Champion Feeds building, on the east side of 50th Avenue adjacent to Highway 18. It will replace the current wooden skate park adjacent to the Agrena/aquatics/curling rink complex next to 49th Street. 

Funding for the park was set aside in the 2021 capital budget, specifically coming from the town's Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) allotment. It has now been included as part of the 2022 capital budget. In late February, council capped the park's construction budget at $800,000. 

Touet noted the final design incorporates feedback the town received during a March 7 public information session hosted by New Line Skateparks, the company council selected to design and build the facility. 

It was the second time that the public had an opportunity to give input on the features they would like to see featured in the park. 

Touet noted the biggest take-back they received from the session is that the public wanted the municipality to focus the bulk of the budget and resources on completing the concrete work, leaving the bike skills dirt track for a later phase. 

"The reasoning being that if we have to bring (New Line Skateparks) back, it will cost more," he said, adding that a path will connect the skills track to the concrete portion of the park. 

"The eventual vision is that the bike skills track will go down into the ravine and come back up so there will be a complete circle for the patrons," he said. 

Touet noted at the top of the park would be a two-foot quarter pipe that would also act as a staging area. Further down, he said there would be a two-foot wedge jump and gap followed by several other features, including a China bank, slappy bank island, and a flat ledge among others. 

He also added to those unfamiliar with wheel sports that the extended gaps in areas of the track might look out of place. 

"That is because as the kids come off of one feature, they need to manoeuvre and set up for the next one," Touet explained. "When it is all said and done, I think it will be very unique and have features that users from inline skaters, scooters, and although I haven't seen them yet, Segways." 

Touet noted that there will be areas in the park that will allow those with mobility challenges to use devices such as wheelchairs and walkers to access most of its features. 

Coun. Dave Sawatzky asked if the grass surrounding the track would be natural. 

Touet said the areas outside of the track itself would be grass, but any areas within the track's boundaries would most likely be artificial turf. 

Coun. Don Smith suggested using a recycled rubber material similar to that used at the splash park. 

The town offset the cost of the substance through a $30,000 grant from Alberta Recycling. 

"If you use natural grass or artificial turf, it will wear, but the rubber seems to hold up well," he said.  

Touet admitted he did not think of that possibility and would discuss it with New Line Skateparks. 

Coun. Rod Klumph said the park would be a popular venue and asked if there would be shaded seating areas. He also suggested that port-a-potties should be on the park grounds. 

Touet said there would be several picnic tables and benches and restroom facilities would be available. 

Initially, he said they would be in the form of port-a-potties, but he hopes, in future budget years, they could be replaced by a more permanent solution. 

Coun. Ty Assaf was concerned about potential ground shifting, damaging the park's concrete. 

"The geotech people were in there in March and said the ground is good," Touet replied. "Because it was an old railway bed, everything was compacted pretty darn good, so they are not anticipating any movement." 

However, if repair work is necessary, Touet said he believes it would be limited to minor patches. 

On the same topic, Coun. Anthony Oswald asked what type of warranty New Line Skateparks offered. 

Touet admitted to not knowing the answer, but said through his discussions with the company, he believed the town could reasonably expect the park to be problem free for about 10 to 15 years. 

Coun. Dausen Kluin suggested there should be an area where kids could create "urban art" to cut down on potential graffiti issues.  

Touet said there would be but did not know yet what form it would take. 

Kluin also asked if New Line Skateparks would be using any local contractors. 

"They've been in contact locally with anyone that wants to supply concrete, rebar, gravel ... all of it to see what they can get. Not all the prices have been firmed up yet. There is a lot of uncertainty still, but honestly, I think you will see very little of it coming from outside the town or county, " Touet said. 


Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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