The Virgil Sports Park just keeps getting better, says Kevin Turcotte – next on the list is a project that could be a skate park, a pump track or a pipe park.
The Town has “generously agreed” to a $150,000 capital expenditure to pay for this next project, with community involvement to determine what it will look like, said the Town's parks and recreation manager.
In recent years the sports park, home to two arenas and several ball diamonds, has seen the addition of a skateboard park, new soccer fields, a splash pad, new playground equipment, an adult fitness circuit and coming next spring, pickleball courts.
The Virgil Business Association, which has helped fund most of the components of the sports park, including the first arena that opened in 1967, has also pledged financial support, with its proceeds from the May Virgil Stampede going to the project. It has set aside $75,000 to go toward the project, but hasn't officially voted on that amount, although VBA members are expected to vote on it when they reconvene in the fall.
The Town has organized a public meeting Tuesday, July 24 to solicit public input on what kind of a project would be most fitting, said Turcotte, to ensure it will be well-used by the community.
“We're hoping for users of the park and those interested in a skate park, a pump track or even a pipe park to tell us what they want,” he said.
“We're going into this with an open mind, not dead set on anything. We want the community to direct staff as to what would best fit in the community.”
The new project, whatever it turns out to be, will be located near the playground equipment and soccer fields, he said.
A pump track, Turcotte explained, can be used by skateboarders, cyclists, scooters and even roller blades. It has banks and rolling hills, with an asphalt surface, and is traditionally designed for bikes but other modes of transportation can be used on it as well.
“We hope people will come to the meeting and let us know what they want.”
Canadian Ramp Company, which designs skate parks, adventure parks and pump tracks, will be working with the Town through the design process, and providing detailed drawings for tendering.
The old skateboard park will be removed – it's come to the end of its life – but the Town has no immediate plans for using that space, although it could be for expanded parking, Turcotte said.
“We're not quite there yet, although whenever there are major events at the park, such as hockey or lacrosse tournaments, we can aways use more parking.”
The Town has involved the public in deciding on the use of other recreational spaces, including the designs for the playround and splash pad at the Virgil park, the Queenston community park, and the Voices of Freedom Park now underway on Regent Street.
It's a system that works, said Turcotte, “so there's no need to change it.”
There will be drawings at the meeting to indicate the possible variations of what the park could look like, and a power point presentation to show what a pump track is, he said.
With the capital input from the Town and the donation from the VBA, it's a healthy budget, said Turcotte, for a project that will “add another jewel to the sports park.”
The public meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Mary Snider Room of the Centennial Arena on July 24.