DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The proposed addition of a PumpPark to the Uxbridge Rotary Skatepark will be getting another push next week.
A public information meeting regarding the project is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., at the Uxbridge Arena Hall, located at 271 Brock St. West. This is an excellent opportunity for community members of all ages to be involved in the project, which is currently undertaking the process of forming a Committee of Council to move forward with this proposed addition to the Uxbridge Rotary Skatepark.
In September, Rotary Club member Stephen Snoddon and Brent Lunn of the Optimist Club presented their idea of adding a hard surface PumpPark, directly connected to the existing Uxbridge Rotary Skatepark to councillors, who were very enthusiastic in endorsing the idea.
As the pair explained, the idea had originally been floated in 2012, but had been shelved until recently, due to the ongoing maintenance that a dirt course would require.
This year, the idea came back to the forefront in the wake of several hard surface pump parks being built in Europe and other areas of Canada, including Brockville, Ontario.
A PumpPark course features a progressive design with an assortment of bumps, which would make it an ideal fitness option for BMX cyclists, skateboarders, scooters and in-line skaters of all ages and skill levels. As well, an additional objective of the PumpPark project is to have the facility directly connected to the Uxbridge Trail network.
“(PumpPark riding) is a phenomenon, it’s just exploding,” Mr. Snoddon explained. He also added that the addition would act as a draw for more users, both from within Uxbridge and beyond.
“Adding a PumpPark would greatly expand the usage and demographics of that park. If we were to build it big enough, it would create a destination for people well beyond this town,” added Mr. Snoddon.
The total cost of the project was pegged by the pair at approximately $350,000, with the Rotary Club expected to commit $75,000 and an additional $25,000 from another project partner. Another $100,000 would come from community fundraising and other initiatives, with the balance of funds contributed from an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant.
Councillors were very enthusiastic about the idea, and will further discuss funding for the project during upcoming 2016 municipal budget deliberations.
“I think something like this would be wonderful,” commented Mayor Gerri-Lynn O’Connor. “I think we could do something really fantastic for this town. This is very, very exciting and I think it’s something we should be contributing to through the budget process in 2016.”
Mr. Snoddon was hopeful that the Trillium grant application can be submitted next spring, with construction beginning later in the year.
Attendees to the symposium on Nov. 18 will have an opportunity to learn about the progression of the genre from early BMX parks to today's state-of-the-art hard surface, multi-use PumpParks.
In a press release, organizers add that it is important for the project to be a collaborative effort, and noted that it is important that the Committee of Council be representative of a wide range of future users of the facility and other members of the broader community.
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