Central Saanich debates location of skate park

Lions Club pushing for spot in the District's Centennial Park.

  • Feb. 26, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Centennial Park sites (in red) are possible future spots for a skate park

Despite a lack of action over the last year, the dream of a skate park in Central Saanich is still alive, but a final decision on a site has yet to be made.

The choice is currently between a portion of Stelly’s Secondary School property and two sites in Centennial Park, one west of baseball diamond No. 6, and the other north of White Road trail fronting onto Wallace Drive.

Each site presents its own challenges.

According to District staff, desirable criteria for siting a new skate park include: an area where youth naturally gather, central location within the community, good visibility from a nearby street or public building, safe location, few nearby neighbours, on a bus route, nearby support amenities, minimal size requirements, clear site without trees close by, compatible adjacent uses, and that the skate park doesn’t displace other established park uses or be significantly out of character with the overall site.

The two sites in Centennial Park were investigated in 2003 and 2004, with the greatest challenges including the necessity of removing large trees and ensuring good visibility.

The site at Stelly’s would not require any tree removal and meets all the criteria associated with siting a skate park.

But though District staff had recommended the Stelly’s location in their most recent report, Councillor Alicia Cormier offered some concerns about the site after having spoken to several young skateboarders and their families.

Being beside the high school could be intimidating for younger students, she said, and noted there had also been concerns from parents over a less family-friendly feel to the area and about existing washrooms and other amenities not being accessible outside of school hours.

The Central Saanich Lions Club, who approached council a year ago with an offer to help fund the skate park, also had qualms over the Stelly’s site and asked council to re-examine the Centennial Park location.

“Four years ago we lost one of our hardest working members in Mr. Bill Eastgate,” said Ed Wignall, chair of the skate park project and member of the Central Saanich Lions. “Our club has a memorial fund to help fund a lasting community project in his memory.”

Eastgate was heavily involved with Centennial Park when he was alive, and the club has been pursuing an upgrade to the park in Eastgate’s memory, including a skate park, said Wignall.

Having already approached the previous council with the idea and receiving verbal support, Wignall came to council at Monday’s meeting “to request that mayor and council reaffirm their support of the project.”

“Anything we can do to put free recreation in the community is good,” said Coun. Carl Jensen. “I think this might be worthy of putting on a priority list for the strategic planning workshop.”

The District of Central Saanich is currently in talks with the school board regarding the Stelly’s site, and after discussion, council agreed to further examine the Lions’ offer to build a skate park at one of the sites in Centennial Park.

For the complete report, visit http://bit.ly/17fxpOJ to see the background materials from the Feb. 16 council meeting.

Just Posted

Feds kickstart Indigenous Guardians program with $5.7M in early funding

Part of $25M announcement from March to commit financial help for First Nations to remain stewards of their land

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits with Langford high school students

Students asked him questions about current political issues

New report finds B.C. victims of opioids crisis on lower of end of socio-economic spectrum

UVic scholar calls for decriminalization of drugs responsible for opioid crisis

Victoria Curling Club, arena parking lot considered for new Crystal Pool location

Considering other vendors could cost Victoria first year of provincial and federal funding

City of Victoria to see 588 affordable housing units

Provincial funding is aiming to see 4,900 new mixed-income rental properties across B.C.

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

POLL: Have BC Ferry waits ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Racist slur cleaned off memorial at Qualicum First Nation graveyard

Site was hit by vandals on Friday; many immediately offered support and assistance

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Most Read