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Design plans for revamped village skate park to be unveiled this week

The RMOW hosts a community workshop and feedback session March 12



Preliminary design plans to revitalize Whistler Village’s 20-year-old skate park will be unveiled this week.

The RMOW will host the workshop on Thursday, March 12 to get the community’s take on its Skate Park Revitalization Project plans. Designer Jim Barnum of Spectrum Skate Parks Ltd., who was not available for comment at press time, will present his initial plans based on feedback from a similar workshop held last year.

The revitalization is aimed at complimenting the existing skate bowl and plaza, providing “a high flow street park experience,” according to the municipality. Chris Charlebois, owner of The Sk8 Cave in Function, outlined what he’d like to see done during Phase 3 at the venue located in Rebagliati Park.

“I’d like to see a nice variety, a nice mix that caters to all levels of skateboarding,” he said, noting that the current size of some park features can be intimidating for beginner and intermediate riders. “I’d like to see a mixture of everything, from plaza-style features to more transition features.”

There have also been discussions around installing a covered section to protect skaters during rainy weather, a feature that more skate parks are using nowadays, Charlebois said. The Sk8 Cave owner would also like brighter lights to be installed along the bowl section, where there are already plans to refurbish the riding surface. The updated park would help to attract out-of-town skaters and build Whistler’s outdoor recreation offerings, said Charlebois.

“I think it will be a positive thing for the community because it will bring people here to skate who maybe haven’t come in a few years because they feel the park is outdated,” he said. “The skate park was amazing back when they built it, but we’ve come a long way in skateboarding since then, so to see (the RMOW) put in this time and energy to bring it up to par is pretty awesome.”

The municipality has also looked at ways to incorporate the skate park plans with work currently underway linking the Valley Trail and Audain Art Museum as part of the Cultural Connector project, which will define a route through the village connecting various cultural facilities.

The capital project budget request for this project is nearly $808,000, funded through the Resort Municipality Initiative, with potential funding from partners and sponsors, as well. The project is currently being considered through the RMOW’s annual budget process.

Phase 3 is slated for completion in 2015.

The community workshop is scheduled to take place at the Delta Village Whistler Suites, in the Raven meeting room, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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