The Smithers Skateboard Society is looking ahead to phase two and wrapping up their park expansion project.
The society made a presentation to Smithers council on Sept. 27 and asked the town for some cash for the landscaping portion.
Phase one and a bulk of the project was completed earlier last month ahead of schedule with a soft opening on Sept. 16. Since then, the park has seen a lot of activity and according to the society, is well used and loved.
The new park is more than double the size of the current one, which was built more than 20 years ago.
If the society 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.
They would also like to do the landscaping next summer, which they would like the town to contribute $75,000 toward.
“This would be a good opportunity for the town to support us financially,” said society co-chair Jason Krauskopf. “Especially since the project is coming to a close and the landscaping is a large part of what we need done.”
He said it makes sense for the town to pay for the landscaping since they will be the ones maintaining it in the future.
Krauskopf added they would like a decision soon because it helps them when applying for grants for future funding, saying it looks good to have some money in the account to help out with applications for phase 2.
Phase 2 is expected to cost $518,280, including the $75,000 requested from the town to go toward landscaping.
Phase one was planned to cost a little over $673,000 but came in over budget at $807,000.
Society co-chair Sarah Fitzmaurice said that overages were due to using a different vendor for the construction phase and some additional surveying costs.
She added that the first phase was mostly paid for with grant money, as well as 28 per cent came from corporate and in-kind donations and five per cent from individuals.
The society also brought up the idea of adding more parking in the future, and asked town council to keep it on their radar.
“We all know that the parking situation there isn’t ideal along the highway there,” added Krauskopf. “It’s not safe. And we’ve actually been quite lucky that no one’s really got hurt, a lot of people crossing over to use the washrooms and just parking using that fence.”
Krauskopf noted it is important to complete the project next year so as not to lose momentum or the community’s support.
-with files from Deb Meissner