It was a windy but bright summer day as people gathered at the site of the new Stettler Skate Park to officially break ground on the project.
On Friday, July 4, members of the Stettler Skate Park Committee joined Town of Stettler Mayor Dick Richards, skateboarders and parents in breaking ground at the new site.
“We’re extremely excited,” Mike Lawlor, chair of the Skate Park Committee said. “It’s been a long process to get here and it’s taken a lot of dedication from our group and everyone from the community (who have been) supporting us.”
For the past several years, the committee has been fundraising for the park, which will replace the few jumps and bars set up on the flat outdoor hockey rink across from the Stettler Recreation Centre.
“It’s just bringing us into the new millennium,” Richards said. “It’s a real skate park as opposed to the flat surface.”
Richards said the outdoor rink will be used for other sports, like ball hockey, during the summer months once its freed up from its use as the area’s skate park.
Lawlor said construction will take roughly two months, possibly three, depending on weather and construction factors.
“Hopefully by fall, we should have something rideable,” he said. “We’re going to do some sort of special opening celebration.”
For Lawlor, who learned to ride on the makeshift skate park in Stettler, seeing the new skate park becoming reality is thrilling.
“I’m going to pull out my skateboard with my son and ride it all day and all night (when it’s finished),” he said.
Though he said he’s excited to see construction of the park get underway, the mayor said people won’t find him boarding around the new park.
“No way,” he said with a laugh. “My knees are too old.”
Fundraising for the new park continues, as the committee was short the required fundraising goal to begin construction, and was only able to begin after the town loaned them the remaining money so construction could begin this fall rather than next year.