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Work begins on new skatepark

Christmas came early as the ground has been broken on Jasper's new skatepark.
It doesn't look like much now, but there should be a brand-new skatepark by summer 2024 where this ball diamond once was. | S.Hayes photo

"It's huge news. They're starting to move dirt around. It's happening," said Darrell Savage, spokesperson for the Jasper Skatepark Committee. "It's super exciting."

Late last week, municipal crews came in with a backhoe to start to clear off Diamond A, the Centennial Park site where one of the town's baseball diamonds previously sat.

It was a fine moment of progress for the committee that has been working behind the scenes for several years to propose and fundraise for a new skatepark.

The existing skatepark, located behind Jasper Junior/Senior High School, was installed two decades ago. That served well enough for its time, but its time is soon coming to an end.

The new skatepark will not only be more visible with its location, but it will also offer more in terms of functional design and aesthetic appeal. With new landscaping features on top of all that, it should be more appealing to the community in general as well.

The concept was created by New Line Skateparks, the British Columbia-based full-service municipal skatepark design and construction team that works on projects internationally.

Crews will continue to clear the site, an important step to prepare it before winter. The ground should settle in the spring, and then the concrete and design elements can be installed.

Even as the site gets prepared, there is still administrative work to be done. Savage said that the committee still need to raise approximately $150,000 to cover the project's expenses.

"We have some things that we're doing to mitigate that cost. We also do have in-kind donations that we're trying to solicit to try to bring that one down. But yeah, we're just going ahead."

The crews on site this week demonstrated the municipality's in-kind donation to the effort.

He hopes that all the pieces come together in the end. Because of the contract, items might need to be removed from the final project should there be a shortfall in funding.

"We're hoping that we can fully fund it by the time we get to that point. The basic outline of the skatepark is going as is."

Anyone who wants to help with the fundraising effort can contact the committee via email to [email protected] or by connecting to them either through Facebook or the group’s YouTube channel.

The committee will meet with municipal council sometime to go over the budget and project details.

"We're aiming high. Out of a million-dollar project, we're doing pretty good."

Savage said that they are realistically expecting to have the project done and the new skatepark ready for riding in summer 2024.

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