Skatepark design and tots playground at Huxley to be completed by end of 2017

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, March 8 2016

Huxley Park will have a tots’ playground and a plan for the skatepark by the end of 2017.

That’s the current plan in place from the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN).

Essentially, there is $125,000 set aside for the first stage of the park.

The RDN is currently applying for some grants, and will know by the end of May whether it has been successful.

The strategy is that if the grant application is successful, the RDN will move ahead with building the tots’ playground at Huxley, using the monies from the grant to help fund the $125,000 cost of the playground area.

It will then use budgeted funds to complete the skatepark plan in 2017.

If the grant does not come through, the RDN will move forward with Plan B: working with a skatepark company to design, plan and cost out a skatepark for Huxley.

Parks Planner Elaine McCulloch said whichever way the RDN has to go, some of the funds will go too. “If we get the other grant, some of those skatepark funds will go to the playground and draw from RDN reserves and community works funds to get the playground done.”

“Whether we do the playground in 2016 or 2017, we have the funds in reserve to make [both] happen, but we can’t do both because of staff time.”

The Huxley Park Master Plan, approved in mid-2015, estimated it would take 10 years for the completion of the park as envisioned through the public process.

The total cost of all the park improvements is estimated to be $920,000 ($800,000 plus $120,000 as a 15 per cent contingency).

Existing park elements which will be kept (albeit repaired and improved) are the tennis courts, sport court and parking areas. 

New elements to be added to the park include a cast-in-place skatepark and flow track, a plaza/community performance space, and the tots’ playground with elements for two- to five-year-olds as well as for older children.

Pedestrian trails connecting to the Commons, Folklife Village and North Road are also planned for the park.