Wheel park design rolled out

Wednesday morning a consultant from New Line Skate Parks rolled out a rendering of the city’s future park.

About 25 Greater Trail skate park enthusiasts were like children on Christmas morning Wednesday when a consultant from New Line Skate Parks rolled out a rendering of the city’s future park.

The consideration given to creating a park that really captured the natural beauty of Trail also impressed the city’s skateboard park committee, which endorsed the $25,000 design earlier that night.

“I think the design is really adapted well to the space,” said Ty Smith, cofounder of bcskateboarding.org. “It’s a modern design that will suit the skaters here for some time.”

Considered an “urban wheel park,” the 8,000-square-foot recreational facility on Rossland Avenue will be open to skateboarders, roller skaters, inline skaters, scooter riders and BMX bike riders to develop their technique.

“There was an ambitious design vision challenged to us by the community but the site really did work out to accommodate that and at the end of the day with some creativity and just putting our heads together as designers we were able to achieve a lot,” said Trevor Morgan, vice president of New Line.

The park is designed for all levels of skaters from beginners to intermediate, as well as community members cutting through on foot or wishing to hang around and catch the action.

A 2,500-square-foot bowl is prominent in the detailed design that also includes elements like fun boxes, pyramids and ledges.

Mirroring the character of the Piazza Colombo that’s directly across the street, the design concept presented hits on natural themes.

“Right away we looked at the history and the geography of the Gulch area and we wanted to see how that could form the actual hard surface,” said Morgan.

“We looked at the terracing that you see along the West Trail mountainside, the roadwork and the retaining walls in the area.”

The design includes terraced ledges that depict how the roads intersect down the hillside in West Trail, stonework that resembles rock walls and an irregular bank that is a nod to the Selkirk and Monashee mountains.

Trail councillor Robert Cacchioni was pleased that the development didn’t result in any loss of parking, pointing to some existing parking kept as is and new angled spots created against the retaining wall.

The concrete park is estimated to cost about $450,000, not including the work involved in building its other elements included in the design – a viewing area, green space, washroom facility, children’s playground and pathway connections.

The cost came as a bit of a shocker to one man in the crowd, who wondered why the city didn’t give more consideration to lining the wheel park up with Trail’s Rotary Park.

Though this area was included in the Top-12 best locations for such a park, it didn’t make the cut, explained city administrator Michelle McIsaac.

Morgan had to remind the crowd that the workshop at hand was specifically to collect feedback on the proposed design.

Those who attended were asked to provide written feedback as well as encouraged to visit the company’s online forum that can be accessed by visiting www.newlineskateparks.com, selecting “forum,” then “Trail urban all-wheel park” and entering “Trailsk8” as a password.