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School board rejects skate park proposals

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The Town of Fort Macleod must continue its search for a new home for the skate park.

The skate park was displaced when council approved the $3.5-million outdoor pool project.

“We’ve taken over the space now for the pool expansion so we’re looking for options,” Town of Fort Macleod chief administrative officer Sue Keenan said.

Keenan updated council on recent discussions on potential sites for the skate park.

The Town of Fort Macleod pitched two potential locations to Livingstone Range School Board.

The first option was just north of the parking lot adjacent to the F.P. Walshe school rugby field and track.

The second option was just east of W.A. Day school in the area where the outdoor skating rink was located until this past summer.

Keenan and director of operations appeared as a delegation at the December school board meeting to make the proposals.

After deliberation, the school board rejected both proposed sites.

“We have determined that the skate park would not be a good fit on Livingstone Range School Division school property,” school board chair Lori Hodges wrote in a letter to the town.

The school board is pleased the skate park will have a home in Fort Macleod and wished the town well in its search.

Keenan told council one of the concerns raised by the school division was the distraction the skate park could pose for students during school hours.

The school board also noted the F.P. Walshe site is already well-used for school activities including rugby and track and field.

“There were a lot of reasons they provided that were valid,” Keenan said.

That puts the Town of Fort Macleod back to square one in determining where to put the skate park.

“If council has any additional suggestions we would definitely be open to that feedback,” Keenan said.

Coun. Kristi Edwards said care has to be taken to find a spot for the skate park, with safety and neighbourhood impact in mind.

In response to a question from Coun. Marco Van Huigenbos, Keenan said the town is looking for a lot about 66 ft. by 99 ft. for the skate park.

“That’s the minimum size we would require,” Keenan said.

Coun. Werner Dressler suggested consulting the Oldman River Regional Planning Commission, which helps the town with planning, on an appropriate site.

“We will be doing our due diligence to find a site that is most appropriate and then be bringing them to council,” Keenan said.

Coun. David Orr wondered if the public would be consulted after potential sites are located.

“Absolutely,” Keenan said. “We will seek input, especially from the youth of the community.”

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