Skatebowl at McLennan Park closed after city officials discover foundation issues
The skatebowl at McLennan Park has been permanently closed after Kitchener officials discovered the land below it is not settling as they had initially expected.
The city says that the issue is creating significant cracks and separation in concrete of the skatebowl, making it unsafe for use and there will not be replaced.
“We will not be replacing the skate bowl at McLennan; the foundations needed for a structure of this nature and the nature of McLennan park mean that there is no alternative location at that site,” Niall Lobley, director of parks and cemeteries at the City, told Global News through email.
He points out that the city is currently constructing a new skatepark at Upper Canada Park which is slated to open in 2019.
Kitchener officials noticed the issue during a routine inspection in April, when they found piers which are meant to provide support were punching through the surface of the skatebowl. An engineering assessment was then conducted which found there was no way to predict any future settling in the ground below the bowl so it was deemed that it needed to be closed for safety purposes.
“Creating an active park on a former landfill site is a unique concept for Kitchener that brings with it continued learnings,” Lobley said in a release.
Once excavated, it will be filled with soil and seeded until a future use for the spot is determined.
The rest of the skatepark will remain open for public use but a fence has been erected around the skatebowl until it is permanently removed a process which is expected to begin in September.
Lobley said that the city will consult with the public before proceeding with further changes to the park.
“We will be taking this opportunity to revisit the Master Plan and re-engage the community as to what other elements might be required at McLennan, and while a skate bowl will not be possible, we could consider enhancements to the skate plaza (street skate area) if that is a need demonstrated through our community engagement,” he said.
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