BMX riders and skateboarders can look forward to a new state-of-the-art park later this summer.
The City of Summerside has called for tenders to construct the $250,000 recreational facility later this summer.Aaron MacDonald, director of the city’s technical services department, said the tenders should go to the technical services committee in early June and then to city council later this month for final approval. Once that is completed work can begin.
The new park will be park of the Credit Union Place complex. It’s going to be built between Willow Street and the turf field. The park will be 18 meters by 21 meters.
MacDonald said the new riding park will consist of two concrete bowls that go down into the ground.
“On the top edge will be a concrete apron or flat area where they can get up on their bikes and ride down into the bottom of these bowls and they have these curves,” he said.
MacDonald said the city had very little expertise in designing this type of facility and searched to find companies that have designed similar parks in other centres across the country.
“We had a local user from another project who does a lot of other local stuff and he partnered with this firm from Toronto and he brought them down and showed us some designs that had been done in different areas,” he said.
MacDonald said the city consulted local BMX enthusiasts for some direction on what would be required for a safe bike park. He said they would review the designs presented and picked the one they thought had the best features and best suited the needs of the area’s biking public.
“The design they picked was one at the middle of the road,” MacDonald said. “It was one that would interest the beginner and also challenge the ones that are middle of the roaders. I don’t think it was meant to be at an expert type level.”
The park will have posted rules for required safety gear and the overall operation of the park.
Funding for the bike park was announced in March and will be financed by all three levels of government. The federal government through Recreation Infrastructure Canada is contributing $82,500 to the $250,000 project and the provincial government, through the Island Community Fund is providing $150,000 leaving the city to come up with the remainder of the cost.