Seen here at the official ground breaking of the skatepark are (from left): Bill Gurney, New Line Skateparks; Warden Owen McCarron, Municipality of the County of Antigonish; Andrew Beckett, StFX Vice-President of Finance and Administration and Head of Student Services; Mayor Laurie Boucher, Town of Antigonish; and Jason Mason, Antigonish Skatepark Association.

ANTIGONISH: On July 15, the Antigonish Skatepark Association, the Town and County of Antigonish, as well as StFX, hosted a groundbreaking for the Antigonish All Wheels Skatepark.

Antigonish Town and County Councils and the Antigonish Skate Park Association partnered in a land-lease agreement with StFX University for the property.

Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher said a lot of people put in a lot of time and effort to bring the park from the idea stage to a reality.

“This is one of the best examples of partnerships and mutual benefits that we’ve seen in the area for a while,” said Boucher. “To have all four groups working together on a project of this magnitude is exciting.”

The total cost of the project is $700,000.

Boucher said construction on the 13,753 square foot site on West Street is scheduled to begin on July 22 and will take approximately 10-12 weeks to complete.

“Involvement in sports and recreation encourages the importance of exercising physical and mental health that leads to the creation of a healthy and sustainable Antigonish. The Skatepark offers more youth and families the opportunity to enjoy their right to play and participate in sport for free in the heart of our community,” said Owen McCarron, Warden of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish.

Skatepark association president Jason Mason said everything is paid for, and they are working on getting some bells and whistles like lights, WiFi, a water fountain, and cameras.

New Line Skateparks is doing the design and construction of the project.

“I’m really excited for all of the kids who don’t have skateboarding yet and whose lives haven’t been changed,” said Mason. “There are a lot of kids not here right now because they haven’t realized they are skateboarders yet.

“When they realize what skateboarding can do for them, it’s going to be exciting. Skateboarding changed my life for the good, and I’m always going to be grateful for skateboarding and what it’s done for me.”

Mason said the machines will come in to start clearing the property next week and the construction phase will follow. He said they are aiming for a mid-September roll out.

“I’m really proud of Antigonish and how the Town, County, University, people, and businesses all worked together for this common goal. It’s inspiring to me and I hope the citizens of Antigonish see what working together looks like and the results that can happen when a community is united. Seeing the youth of Antigonish walk in the world with passion and purpose makes all of this worth it,” he added.