Skateparks

Traumatized Youth Treated by Using Skatepark

You may know that an outdoor concrete skatepark was built at a private youth facility in Calgary. The facility treats traumatized youth and has been in operation for over 50 years.

The skatepark was built about two years ago but all of its benefits were not known until now. They have found that using the skatepark is allowing these traumatized youths to heal more quickly. Watch the trailer below to learn more.

There is an online fundraising auction to raise money so the film can be completed in 2018. Please bid to support this groundbreaking project.

Proposed Under 18 Helmet Law

A Calgary Herald article talks about a proposed helmet law that will be discussed at this year’s AUMA conference. CASE has not been consulted.

Read more by clicking the image below:

Carrington Skate Spot

The Carrington skate spot is now open. It’s located at the corner of 14 St. NW and Symons Valley Parkway. It’s a plaza-style skate spot with two quarter pipes, plenty of ledges, some stairs, and a central volcano. It’s free and open to the public.

It was created by Mattamy homes as part of the development of the community of Carrington. Designed by New Line Skateparks and built by Transition Construction.

2017 Municipal Election Candidate Questionnaire Results

Last week, we sent a short questionnaire to all candidates running in the Calgary 2017 Municipal Election.

Remember, the election is on October 16th but you can vote early from October 4-11. We encourage you to learn about the candidates running in your ward. Vote for whoever you think will do a good job and represent your vision for the city.

Click below to learn how the candidates responded to our questionnaire. They’re sorted by Mayor or Councillor and then by ward. If you’re not sure what ward you live in, click here. If a candidate is not listed, they did not yet complete our questionnaire. We’ll be updating it daily as more responses come in until election day.

 

Mayor
Councillor – Ward 1  Councillor – Ward 8
Councillor – Ward 2 Councillor – Ward 9 
Councillor – Ward 3 Councillor – Ward 10 
Councillor – Ward 4 Councillor – Ward 11 
Councillor – Ward 5 Councillor – Ward 12
Councillor – Ward 6 Councillor – Ward 13
Councillor – Ward 7 Councillor – Ward 14

Interview: Councillor Evan Woolley

Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley has been Calgary city council’s top supporter of skateboarding (and CASE).
From helping return Millennium Park back to a 24-hour park in 2015 to putting forward a successful notice of motion in 2016 that changed a 30 year old bylaw which banned ramps on private property, Councillor Woolley has helped our city become a better place to skate.
Woolley has also helped out at several Millennium spring clean ups and co-lead a Jane’s Walk Skate in downtown Calgary.

Photo by Marlene Hielema

 

Why do you have so much love for skateboarding?

My love for skateboarding started when I was a kid. At the age of 10, seeing kids cruising around on boards was just the coolest thing to me. The sport really captured my imagination and I saw it as an important counter culture movement. I’ve seen the dedication and perseverance it takes to learn tricks or to get up after a really bad fall translate into my life and lives of my friends. Now that I’m older, friends of mine who skated as kids/teens/young adults are now business owners, directors, professional photographers and more. I think the skills and lessons learned through skating have without a doubt led them to be as successful as they are today.

Alderman Joe Conelly tried many years ago to change the prohibitive ramp bylaw but could not get any to second his motion. To what do you attribute the support you received from council on your ramp bylaw notice of motion?

I think as time goes on, attitudes change. Calgary is one of the youngest cities in North America and as new generations grow up in this city, we’re seeing shifting mentalities. A lot if it was hard work to break the stereotypes surrounding skateboarding. If you can have a basketball net or a tennis court in your backyard, why shouldn’t you be allowed to have a skateboard ramp? Why shouldn’t your young daughter or son be allowed to safely practice a sport that they love? We did a lot of work and due diligence to to make sure we worked with the community on what type of ramps the city would support – making sure they’re safe and feasible.

 

Our city seems to have embraced skateboarding in the past few years. The Skateboard Amenities Strategy has seen six new, free outdoor concrete skateparks created. To what do you attribute the “new outlook”.

Again, I think with a city as young as Calgary (The average Calgarian is 36 years old) we crave vibrancy. I also think that our City Council has recognized that kids being out and active is a great thing in general — whether it’s a new playground or a new skate park.

Do you still skate?

I do! Not as much as I would like. Just this past summer I went out with a rad group of people on Go Skateboarding Day and toured around the city with friends. No matter how long I go without skating, getting on a board again always feels great.

We’re hoping skateboarding will be allowed in downtown Calgary. Can you help us with that?

Yes, that work is underway. Having a skatepark downtown, but not allowing skateboarding downtown is a pretty ridiculous problem.

Photo by Marlene Hielema

With the election coming up on October 16, what’s the most important message for citizens of Calgary to consider?

I think the most important thing to consider is that our city is changing– we’re in a state of constant change. Our economy is changing and diversifying, there are opportunities and challenges with the growth in population in our city, and there will be constant impacts of technology on our daily lives.

Westside Skatepark Closing for Season

According to their Twitter feed, the skatepark at Westside Recreation Centre will be closing on Saturday, September 30:

Carrington Skate Spot Grand Opening

Carrington Skate Spot will be opening on Saturday, October 14th. Click the image for more event information.

Calgary Municipal Election – October 16

Calgary’s municipal election is coming up on October 16th. There’s also advanced voting– check that out here.

Our current council has done some pretty good stuff for skateboarding. Some of them, anyway. Remember, they vote on issues and majority wins. Here’s a list of positive skate-moves by city hall since 2013 (the last election):

We’ll have more information before the election that will keep you informed when it comes to how the candidates (incumbents and challengers) feel about skateboarding. We’ll also post the incumbents’ voting records on the above issues.

Here’s how the current council voted on the proposed update to the ramp bylaw:

Bowness and Genesis Skatepark Construction Tender Cancelled (Again)

For any City of Calgary construction project over a $200,000, they use a  bid/tender system. That means they put out an RFT (request for tender) and solicit bids from interested companies.

You already know that the original tender for the construction of Bowness and Genesis centre skateparks was cancelled.

The City re-issued the tender and the results came in. Both bids must have been over budget again, as the tender was cancelled again.

For the record, the bids were:

Ellis Don: $1,804, 099.61
Wilco Southwest: $2,319,689.80

 

What happens next? We’ve been trying to figure that out.

We believe the issue is with the city’s tender process. They only allow pre-qualified contractors to bid. That means companies need to go through an application process prior to bidding.

Because skateparks are so specialized, many general contractors/construction companies have recognized that they aren’t equipped to build them. This is why they sub contract/hire out other companies who do have skatepark construction experience to bid with them.

The problem is, this results in higher prices because there is now a middleman marking up the prices. Not that there’s anything wrong with that– it happens all the time in the construction industry.

Issuing the tender late into construction season nearly always results in higher prices also.

There is one skatepark builder on the pre-qualified list (New Line Skateparks). Earlier Calgary skatepark tenders included language that didn’t allow them to bid as they were allowed in the design process, which may be why they did not submit a bid.

Skatepark construction in Canada is costing around $50-$60 per square foot for design and construction currently. Take Banff, for example. Their new park is about $1,000,000 for a little over 16,000 square feet. That’s $62 per square foot for design and build. Lethbridge too is getting a new park. Legacy Park skatepark will be about 15,000 square feet when complete at a cost of $840,000.

Together, Bowness and Genesis skateparks are about 16,000 square feet in size. The cost to build these should be well under $1,000,000 based on the about numbers in other Alberta cities.

The parks in Banff and Lethbridge were procured using a design/build process (request for proposals aka RFP), where the same company does both the design and construction. This works for skateparks a budget is set and the park is designed and built to that budget so it’s not possible to exceed that.

In the future, the City of Calgary should probably consider adopting an RFP process. If other cities in Alberta can figure skateparks out, Calgary should be able to as well. We shouldn’t be paying DOUBLE.

 

Carrington Skate Spot

It’s exciting that the new community of Carrington in Calgary’s northwest will become the first new community in the city to include a skatepark or skate spot.

These images were early representations of the design and the skate spot may look different when it’s complete. The concept proposes ledges, some stairs, and banks– a nice mellow skate spot.It’s scheduled to be complete by the end of September. It’s important to know that this park is being built by a community developer and is not included in the Skateboard Amenities Strategy.

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