Proposed Stettler skatepark clears preliminary hurdles

Momentum to build a permanent skatepark in Stettler rolls along as the Town of Stettler plans to hire a company to run the project

Momentum to build a permanent skatepark in Stettler rolls along as the Town of Stettler plans to hire a company to run the project with the Stettler Skatepark Association.

“The chosen design consultant will be expected to work with the community and its citizens, both young and old,” said Lee Penner, the town’s director of parks and recreation, as he spoke to council at its regular meeting last week.

During this stage, the company will determine the best location and further fundraising methods to operate the park.

A site on 62 Street (Recreation Road) beside Stettler Recreation Centre appears to the prime area, either on the east side by the outdoor rink that serves as the current temporary skatepark or on the west side.

“The committee would like to see not only a concept drawing of the skatepark, but also a drawing that considers opportunities for future development within the footprint,” Penner said.

“We will be looking to the consultant to provide fundraising ideas, as a well as methods and experience how to best engage youth and community in the project to establish longterm ownership in the park.”

Primely located near other recreation facilities such as West Stettler Park and spray park, Lions Campground and baseball diamonds, the skatepark would get ample use, said Danny Missikewitz, a board director.

“It can be an ornament to the town that will be sure the facility is maximized. West of the road would be much more aesthetically pleasing.”

Since the project began more than a year ago, the association has gained many partners, including the town.

“We appreciate all your support,” said Shawn Lee, president of the association, which has been actively fundraising.

Last summer, the group set a goal to start groundwork this summer and take about one year to complete.

With a projected cost of $600,000 to build the park, the association has already secured about $254,000, with $125,000 from the provincial Community Facilities Enhancement Fund, along with $75,000 from the Town of Stettler and $53,960 from further fundraising.

For the long-term, the association is committed to keep the facility going.

‘”The association would maintain the skatepark and clean up the park once a month and not have town workers clean it up,” Lee said.

To promote the facility and the sport, the association plans to continue to host various events.

“We could set up summer camps and contests to draw people from all over the province to Stettler,” Lee said.

“Last fall, we had a couple of skate days with a barbecue,” said Karen Hataley, a director.

“It was a nice time for kids to develop friends and an opportunity to socialize.”

Town council continues to work with the association to develop the project.