Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Designers on board for new Kilbirnie skatepark

A Destination Skatepark in Kilbirnie is getting ready to roll with skatepark specialist company, CONVIC, confirmed as designers by Wellington City Council.

The Council says that after a thorough selection process including Wellington Skate Association committee members, the new skatepark will be designed and fabricated by CONVIC.

The Australia-based Design and Construction company specialise in skateparks and youth spaces with over 900 parks designed and built around the world, including Valonia Skatepark in Auckland and Pizzey Park on the Gold Coast in Australia.

President of the Wellington Skateboarding Association, Max Olijnyk says the association was excited to work with CONVIC in developing the design for Kilbirnie.

“Based on their track record, we are confident CONVIC will deliver a world-class skate facility that caters to users of all skill levels and interests. We’ve skated their parks before and can’t wait to roll on one purpose-built for Wellington,” he said.

“This skatepark will be a huge boost for the New Zealand scene and attract people from all over the world – as well as functioning as a vital hub for the local community. Hopefully this is the first of many more awesome contemporary skate facilities for the Wellington region.”

To secure the skatepark designer, Council underwent a rigorous procurement process with support from the Wellington Skateboarding Association. CONVIC came out as the preferred supplier due to their proven ability and experience with projects of this scale, Council said in a statement.

Invercargill skatepark
Invercargill skatepark by CONVIC image credit John Torney

CONVIC are specialists in design and construction of skateparks, with 20 years of experience working on skateparks worldwide.

“Skateparks are much more than just a concrete slab with a few obstacles, it is a community space for hanging out and catching up with friends, it can be an iconic colourful piece of art that represents your culture, community and identity,” the CONVIC team said.

“It is a place for having fun and getting outdoors. The concept of a skatepark is always evolving and developing as trends change within the skate scene, we can’t wait to work closely with the local community to create something amazing that reflects the community for people to enjoy into the future.

“We designed the Valonia skatepark in Auckland, Whitianga skatepark, Invercargill skatepark, and way back over 10 years ago the Washington skatepark in Christchurch.  It is great to be back in Aotearoa, particularly with a number of expat Kiwis in our design team.”

Council approved $5.64 million of capital funding to go towards the development of a large regional skate facility following a feasibility study through the 2021-2024 Long-term Plan process, and based on findings of the 2020 Skate Community Engagement Report and the 2017 Wellington Play Spaces Policy.

Chair of Kōrau Mātinitini | Social, Cultural, and Economic Committee, Councillor Teri O’Neill says the announcement was good news for many reasons.

“Not only will this area be a destination site for the local skate community, but also for nationwide and international events. Everything from national skateboarding and scootering championships to training and other roller sports,” she said.

“Our We Skate Pōneke campaign helped to remove stigma associated with skating, and to focus more on the positives like sustainable travel, it’s fun and flexible, and the significant physical and mental health benefits.

“This Destination Skatepark meets Council’s priority objectives to be a city fit-for-purpose for community, creative and cultural spaces, and aligns with the strategy for Children and Young People.”

The project pre-design consultation will be carried out in February, with the draft concept and more community input following soon after, the Council said.

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