Temporary facility for skaters might not open

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REVAMPED:Demolition work began in May on the Marineland site where a revamped skatepark will be built, part of the Napier City Council's ongoing Marine Parade development. PHOTO/FILE
REVAMPED:Demolition work began in May on the Marineland site where a revamped skatepark will be built, part of the Napier City Council's ongoing Marine Parade development. PHOTO/FILE

The opening of a temporary skate park, aimed to bridge the gap while a new facility is developed on Marine Parade, "isn't looking viable".

Earlier this month, it was discovered that Napier City Council's planned temporary pop-up facility - at the former Faraday St Winery building - could not be used due to possible structural issues.

During a council meeting yesterday, council's director community services Antoinette Campbell said although they had been working with the Napier Skating Club in looking at alternative options, this "unfortunately isn't looking viable at the moment".

A council spokeswoman said they were currently waiting on the peer review of the Salvation Army-commissioned seismic assessment of buildings around the site. However, if they had to wait any longer it was not looking likely the temporary facility would open.

Napier Skating Club president Matt Cooper said this was not a surprise to him.

"The pop-up was going to take forever to open up," he said. "It's just a waiting game for the Marine Parade [park] to open."

Skaters who had used the Sk8Zone facility had been disappointed and sad because they had thought they were going to get a skating facility, only to have "the door shut in their face's again" when it was not able to open.

During yesterday's meeting, Ms Campbell said the progress of the new park's development was on track. An operational business model was being developed, and staff were also looking at the branding of the site, and the name of the new park.

It is expected to open later this year. Designed by world-renowned skate park creator Richard Smith, it will cater for all levels of roller skaters and skateboarders, as well as other roller sports.

As part of the development, the site's existing grandstand would be upgraded to give the facility a multi-purpose function.

During yesterday's council meeting, an application for external funding to support the "fit out" of the reception area under the grandstand was approved.

The council would apply for $55,000 in total, split between requests to the Lion Foundation, Infinity Foundation, New Zealand Community Trust, North and South Trust, and Unison.

A report to council stated that construction costs had all been funded by council and external funders, except for the internal "fit out" of the reception area under the grandstand.

It was estimated costs would be up to $40,000.

If funding applications were unsuccessful, the report stated the fit-out costs would need to be funded from existing Council budgets, and/or the cost reduced.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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