Long wait for skate park over

Invercargill skaters have waited five years for the new $750,000 Elles Rd skate park to be built, and in less than two weeks construction will finally begin.

Invercargill City Council community development manager Mary Napper said the council hoped to see the park's redevelopment start on March 17 and be finished by May.

It has been five years since the skate park proposal was first raised at the council but it has been plagued by issues, including a legal battle last year. The start dates have continually been pushed back.

It was announced late last year that work on the park would start in January but the Elles Rd site remains untouched.

Ms Napper said the contractor had assured the council that more staff and more equipment would be sent to Invercargill to ensure it was completed by May. She was still positive about the skate park's redevelopment and said the council had not heard complaints from the users yet.

"I think they are just so pleased to have it."

The latest delay had allowed the skaters to use the park during the school holidays instead of it being blocked off, she said.

When the upgrade of the park begins this month, it will be fenced off and deconstructed.

The council's infrastructure and services committee chairman Lindsay Thomas said he knew little about the skate park's progression and said he thought the new timeframe probably suited children using the facility because it meant they were able to skate on the old one all summer.

The new skate park will include facilities for scooters and bikes, as well as a bowl, security fencing, CCTV surveillance cameras and improved lighting.


The Southland Times