Skaters ‘super excited’ by promise of new covered youth park

Cloverdale's large skate community is excited by news the city plans to build a new covered youth park.

A scene from Cloverdale's youth skate park

It’s the news local skaters have been hoping for.

A new, covered youth park will be built in Cloverdale, Surrey city councillors decided Monday night, citing the town centre’s rapid population growth and a desire to create new sporting opportunities in the community.

About 16,000 people have moved to Cloverdale since 2005, putting pressure on the existing youth park at 17848 64 Avenue, which can no longer meet the demand.

The project will be similar to the facility that opened this year at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, Mayor Dianne Watts said, adding it will be an accessible and free recreation area that can be used rain or shine.

“Everyone’s super excited to hear the news,” said Laine Siebert of Ollie North Skate Shop in Cloverdale.

He said Cloverdale is home to a large community of skaters, who range from kids aged 6 to 8 to people in their 40s.

They all agree the existing facility is lacking.

“It’s bad,” Siebert said. “It’s kind of run down. There are cracks everywhere. Definitely, this new park is going to be a major bonus for us.”

The city’s announcement comes just days after Ollie North Skate Shop owner Shawn Jafarnejad  told the Reporter Cloverdale’s youth skate park was long overdue for an overhaul.

He’d been gathering signatures on a petition – as well as seeking online support – for rebuilding Cloverdale’s youth park.

He’d been hoping to convince the city to revamp or completely rebuild the park, which he said poses a safety risk for newbies to the sport.

Jafarnejad wants to turn the park into a more family and visitor-friendly spot, with landscaping, pathways and other features that would appeal to the whole community, not just skaters.

A location hasn’t been announced, however Watts said local youth will be consulted as part of the planning process.

The project will be added to the city’s Build Surrey program. City staff will begin planning and design work for the project, along with approaching senior levels of government for grants or funding partnerships.Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook. View our print edition online.