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District of Port Hardy allocates over $500k to upgrade KSM skatepark

Vancouver Island company Radius Skateparks has been awarded the contract for the project
The Kyle Scow Memorial Skatepark was originally built in 2003.

It looks like the Kyle Scow Memorial Skatepark will soon be getting a much-needed facelift.

The District of Port Hardy's Chief Administrative Officer Heather Nelson-Smith confirmed that Port Hardy council has agreed to allocate $550,000 in its financial plan to complete the KSM Skatepark upgrade project that has been on the books for years now.

Nelson-Smith added that back in April/May, council went through a design-build request for proposal process, in which they ended up receiving several proposals from companies interested in rebuilding the skatepark.

"We have recently awarded the design-build project to Radius Skateparks," she said. "They are internationally renowned and located here on Vancouver Island. They will work with those interested in the future of their park to design and build the park from 2024 to early 2025."

The district is going to be holding a meeting for local residents to attend to help plan what the new version of the KSM Skatepark will look like, which they have scheduled for June 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

When asked to comment, Mayor Pat Corbett-Labatt said council has been trying for many years now to find grant funding to be able to upgrade the district's 21-year-old skatepark.

When the district ended up receiving a good chunk of community grant monies about a year-and-a-half ago from the BC government, they knew the funds were "not restricted, so we could basically use it for whatever we wanted to use it for," the mayor added. "We put that money into a reserve fund, and when we did our budget this year, we decided we would use it on the skatepark."

Corbett-Labatt stressed that taxes have not been raised in order to upgrade the KSM Skatepark.

As for what she thinks a state-of-the-art skatepark will bring to Port Hardy, the mayor noted it will add even more recreation-based activities to the District of Port Hardy and she hopes it will help entice more young families to move to town.

The KSM Skatepark was originally built in 2003 thanks to over three years of nonstop fundraising from the now defunct Port Hardy Skateboard Club, a $20,000 donation from the Port Hardy Rotary Club towards the cement pad, and other donations made from local business owners to help cover the shortfalls.

Tyson Whitney

About the Author: Tyson Whitney

I have been working in the community newspaper business for nearly a decade, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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