Construction is nearing completion on the Smithers Skatepark expansion project and, with the good weather, it will be done ahead of the scheduled completion date of October 20.
Even with the finishing touches left to to be completed, however, the new features are now open and the Skatepark Society hosted a celebration of the expansion for the community Sept. 16.
“We are having a skate jam, live music and we will have experienced skaters showing the younger skaters how to use the new features and what they are,” society co-chair Sarah Fitzmaurice said prior to the celebration.
“We are super excited about where we are at, as we have been working on this project since 2012, and the community has been so instrumental in our success, along with our sponsors and partners.”
The new park is more than double the size of the current one, which was built more than 20 years ago.
At the time the original park was built, it was the only one in northern B.C.
The existing skate park is 525 square metres and the completed skate park expansion will be 1,080 square metres.
For the expansion, the society hired world-class designer Newline Skateparks.
The new park will provide three times the capacity of people from the current one, and will be accessible to inline skates, scooters and BMX bikes, as well as skateboards.
While this is just the first phase, if the non-profit meets its fundraising goals it should be able to break ground for phase two of the expansion next summer (2023), which will involve adding a bowl element to the park.
Then the final step of the expansion, phase three, is to add elements such as lighting, accessible seating and a shaded picnic table area to improve the aesthetics of the area.
“We have so many exciting days ahead, but for the moment we want to give our most heartfelt thanks to this community, who continue to step up for us and support us,” Jason Krauskopf, society co-chair, said.
“It’s a day to celebrate and enjoy our successes and say thank you.”