Gabriola skatepark construction planned to begin in August

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Gabriola Sounder

Wednesday, June 2 2021

The construction contract for Huxley Community Park’s skatepark has been awarded to Radius Contracting for $659,100.

The target project start date is Aug. 15 with completion anticipated by the end of 2021, according to a staff report.

Radius was the only bidder and came in at a total price of $941,610 excluding GST, but post-tender negotiations for a revised construction scope brought the price down.

The revised contract will focus on the cast-in-place concrete skatepark and plaza, a new gravel parking lot and garbage cans. Along with a 15 per cent construction contingency fee, it falls just under the $773,700 allocated to the project in the 2021 Electoral Area B community parks budget, which was cobbled together through $567,354 in federal and provincial grant funds, $137,346 in Area B community parks reserve and operating funds and $69,000 in donations collected by the Gabriola Skatepark Fundraising Association, which dissolved after achieving its fundraising goals.

Derek Kilbourn, former Treasurer for the Gabriola Skatepark Fundraising Association said, “members are happy the RDN has chosen a company to build the skatepark, and that the RDN keeps on pushing ahead and prioritizing completion of the skatepark within the Huxley Park redevelopment plan.”

The RDN is facing a $323,672 shortfall to complete all the items listed in the tender documents and could be incorporated into the community parks 2021-26 financial plan. Items that were removed from the revised contract are a shade structure, perimeter fencing, coloured concrete, landscaping and the sports court seating area.

While there are no community parks projects for Area B in the financial plan yet, according to staff, Vanessa Craig, Area B director, said priorities as well as staff time and budget will be discussed at an upcoming planning meeting.

“We still have some outstanding projects identified this year,” Craig to the Sounder: “the trail in Captain Ahab’s Park, the investigation of a trail at Degnen Bay. For 2022, we have the potential investigation of a boat launch on Mudge and potential development of the Degnen path. In addition, I will be considering adding funding for beautification along the Village Way Path.”

Also on the table, an addition to and management plan for Cox Community Park as well as implementation of any outcomes of the 707 Community Park Fuel Management Prescription.

Area B’s community parks reserve fund contains $49,643 as of March, according to staff. If project contingency funds go unused, those could go toward the removed items. Craig said the big unknown at this point is if rock removal will be required. 

“If it isn’t, then it will create room in the budget to add items back in,” Craig said, adding, “The contractor we’ve engaged is experienced with skatepark design and construction and they may have ideas that can address the gap. Once we have a better idea of what can be included, I will consider if and how to address it in future budgets.”