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Cumberland skatepark plans rolling along smoothly

If all goes to plan, a custom skatepark will be built right here in Village Park. - Photo by Michael Seeman
If all goes to plan, a custom skatepark will be built right here in Village Park.
— image credit: Photo by Michael Seeman

Layout plans for Cumberland's proposed skatepark are expected to be complete this year.

Village parks and outdoor recreation co-ordinator Kevin McPhedran says staff will wait until Cumberland's financial plan is finally adopted — which is expected in mid-May — before setting any specific timelines for the design work. But, he says work could begin as early as late-spring or in the summer, with a goal to have a custom design for a skatepark in Village Park complete by the end of 2014.

The Village has partnered with Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS) Skatepark Committee to help make the proposed project a reality, and committee chair Cam Matthews points out the community will be involved in the design phase.

"This is a community-based design where a skatepark consulting company comes in and we get anybody in the community that's interested in putting forth their ideas of what a skatepark should look like, and then they take all those ideas and create a custom skatepark for Cumberland," says Matthews.

The skatepark is slated to replace one of two tennis courts and the basketball court currently in the park, so the project also includes decommissioning these two facilities, upgrades to the remaining tennis court and installation of a practice basketball area. Total cost is estimated at $480,000.

Cumberland council has strongly put its support behind the project, committing $150,000 toward the project in the fall, and allocating another $150,000 during recent budget discussions — though this second fund allocation won't be official until the financial plan is finally approved in May. As well, a $20,000 donation from the recreation society has been set aside for the project.

Meanwhile, the skatepark committee is in the midst applying for grants for the project and Matthews notes metal donation containers are located at various businesses around town as a way to drum up community donations. G.P. Vanier Secondary welding students made the containers, with Grade 12 student and local skater Jonah Armstrong in particular, putting considerable time into the project.

Matthews says a skatepark in Cumberland would be a great way to keep kids active, noting skateboards cost only $100 to $200 to purchase.

"The skatepark addresses a group of kids that potentially come from families that can't afford to put them into expensive sports like hockey or mountain biking," continues Matthews. "One of the ultimate goals is not only to have the amenity in Cumberland, but to also have programs in place for the kids — like skateboarding, scootering and BMXing programs — so that kids that would otherwise not have that coach/mentor in their life, have an opportunity for that."

For more information, visit www.cumberlandskatepark.ca or www.cumberlandcommunityschools.com.

The skatepark is one of many projects listed in the Village Park Master Plan. McPhedran says implementation is going well, noting the new playground was opened earlier this year, the dog park has seen some upgrades, and the Village is working on a construction agreement with the United Riders of Cumberland for the jump park project.

"The Village Park Master Plan was approved about 14 months ago so in order to implement all the recommended changes ... it's going to be a lengthy process," continues McPhedran. "But, (considering) the kind of momentum we have, and what we've already achieved to date, and what we're hoping to do in the near future, it's going well."

For more information about the master plan visit www.cumberland.ca.

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