The new skateboard and bike park planned for Topaz Park moved a step closer to reality Tuesday after the City of Victoria selected a world-renowned company to design and build the $3-million facility.
The Vancouver-based team of New Line Skateparks, van der Zalm + associates and Alpine Bike Parks won the contract through a public competition.
New Line and its contractors have completed more than 300 similar projects across Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia over the past 20 years, and are considered the best in the business, said Justin Dykstra, manager of park design and construction for the city.
Council approved the skate and bike park in January 2020 as part of a 10-year renewal plan for Topaz Park.
The 3,000-square-metre skate park and 6,000-square-metre bike park will provide challenging riding experiences for all skill levels, Dykstra said.
It will be the second skateboard park for Victoria, which has a heavily used facility in Vic West.
“I think there’s a lot of excitement in the community about the new park. It’s a second skateboard park for Victoria, but it will be a whole different experience,” Dykstra said.
New Line will begin design work on the new parks through local stakeholder groups that will have input through the city on what the tracks and layouts will look like, he said.
Detailed designs will emerge at various stages over the next year, with completion set for June or July of 2022.
New Line’s team is made up of landscape architects, engineers, arborists, community outreach specialists and construction professionals, many of whom are also high-level skateboarders and BMX/mountain biking enthusiasts, Dykstra said.
He said the team also includes gender equity, accessibility and youth programming experts to ensure the new skate and bike park meets the needs of the community.
“We want to encourage as many people as possible into [skateboarding and cycling],” he said. “In fact, one of the consultants is a blind skateboarder who uses a cane.”
The city is seeking to commission an artist to work with the design team to create a dynamic public artwork to be integrated into the new skateboard park.
Mayor Lisa Helps said the city heard a lot of community support for a skate and bike park during the development of the 10-year Topaz Park plan, “and now we’re making it a reality.”