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Wellesley looking into possible expansion of skate park

There’s still hope for expanding the skateboard ramp in Wellesley, with even talk now of building a full skate park.

Ian McLuer has been skateboarding for 15 years and volunteering at the Wellesley Skate Park since it began. He built much of the original park, which was in the arena. He spoke to Wellesley council on Tuesday night, asking they reconsider expanding the ramp.

“We built the ramp in 2011. Originally it was in the arena and we had it there for a small period of time. Then it was moved outside between the ball diamonds,” McLuer said.

Some complaints issued found it moved to its current location.

In the spring he was approached by Lisa Parker from the Wellesley Township Community Health Centre, who said she had funds raised for the purpose of the skate park. From there, he talked to other local skateboarders and told them he wanted to extend the ramp.

“The ramp’s been the most successful part of the skate park, it’s been the most used and we get the most value for our dollar with the least amount of space by expanding the ramp,” McLuer said.

The money for it came from fundraisers done by some of the skateboarders throughout the years and money raised at Austin Padaric’s funeral to go toward a skateboard park or pad.

“I think it’s unfortunate that a lot of these kids have put a lot of hard work into that and not seen anything come from it,” McLuer said.

He says a lot of them feel like there’s no point in getting involved if the money they raised isn’t being put to use. They have around $6,800, which is a drop in the bucket to create a full skate park – which would cost more like $100,000.

He’s seen the pride it develops in kids who helped build the ramp and he’d like to continue in that vein.

“We’ve been working on trying to get skate park stuff for eight years and we’ve had one skate park get dug up, and then thrown away and then another one made on a crazy slant that is usable but far from ideal,” McLuer said.

Mayor Joe Nowak suggested they think about building something more permanent and look into grants from sources such as the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

McLuer said he was definitely open to that and would like to see some progress either on extending the ramp or building a full skate park sooner rather than later.

Council requested that township recreation director Brad Voisin prepare a report and bring it to council in two weeks.

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