October 20th, 2019

Skateboarders land big trick: A new indoor park

By MO CRANKER on October 8, 2019.

NEWS PHOTO MO CRANKER
Members of the skateboard community sit and celebrate in front of the new location of an indoor skatepark in the city's southwest. Construction will begin soon and the group hopes to have the building open for November.

mcranker@medicinehatnews.com@MHNmocranker

Skaters in the city were dealt a blow earlier in the year when the Summit Indoor skate park closed its doors for good.

Since the building’s closure at the end of April, the Medicine Hat Skateboard Association has been working to get a new spot for skaters to practise in the winter months.

With the help of Eagle’s Nest Ranch, Tim Hortons and The Summit – the MHSA has found a building and will soon start construction.

“We’re really excited to announce this project,” said MHSA treasurer Logan Navratil. “We’re getting together with a few other groups and we’re going to put an indoor park in the southwest industrial area of the city.

“We’re hoping to have it open by the time November rolls around.”

Medicine Hat’s original indoor skatepark was named Central and it closed its doors eight years ago after its roof caved in. The Summit was closed due to financial reasons. Navratil says this project has been a top priority.

“We’ve had all of the ramps and other pieces in storage since The Summit closed,” said Navratil. “The park will have ramps and rails of various sizes for all skill levels – we’re still drawing up plans but we know it won’t be a replica of The Summit.

“We’re going to take this ramp-by-ramp and we’re going to try out new features that people have been requesting.”

Navratil says the first focus for the MHSA after getting the new building open and operating will be indoor classes and events for winter months.

“We put out an ad for winter SkateSkool this past winter and the response was overwhelming,” he said. “After we get most of the pieces of the new space installed, that will be one of our primary focuses.”

Navratil says it is important to have a place to skate indoors during the winter.

“Winters are long and cold here,” he said. “Even when there’s no snow, no one wants to be out there in the minus-20 weather – falling hurts a lot more when it’s cold.

“This is a great place for people of all ages wanting to be active in the winter.”

The MHSA is renting the industrial building for well below cost and will be responsible for equipment costs, insurance, utilities and upkeep.

“We’re so thankful for this opportunity and for the support from the community,” said Navratil. “It’s going to be a work in progress but we’re excited to get things going in November.”

The MHSA is still fundraising for an integrated skate spot in Crescent Heights. More information on that project can be found on the group’s social media pages.

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