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Rebuild of Aurora's 4-year-old skate park to cost $600,000

'Significant deficiencies' found in original construction project, warranty period lapsed
July 24, 2019
Teresa Latchford

Aurora’s four-year-old skate park is being rebuilt.

Town council has approved the $600,000 budget to move the project that will reconstruct the paved park located at the Aurora Family Leisure Complex forward.

A recent report presented to council by Parks Manager Sara Tienkamp pointed out the skate park is a highly used town facility and will pose a safety risk to users if the park is not reconstructed.

The cracking and delaminating of the concrete led to an uneven and rough skate surface, increasing the risk of injury to users, as skateboard wheels require a smooth level surface to travel. In addition, pooling water also poses a threat to patrons.

“Now that the budget has been approved, town staff are scoping out the project in order to get it out to tender,” CAO Doug Nadorozny said.

The staff report presented to council indicated the park was constructed by Jasper Construction and opened for public use in the spring of 2015. However, after its first winter, issues with the concrete surfacing of the skate park appeared “almost immediately” including significant cracking believed to be caused by the retention of water underneath the concrete surface, delaminating of concrete surfaces, water not draining through the drains and poor grading and possible incorrect installation.

“At first, the problem that was appearing seemed minor on the surface,” Nadorozny explained. “We figured it was just settling following construction and town staff considered it a minor repair and patched it.”

However, the issues continued to reoccur, indicating the facility couldn’t still be settling and that there was a larger issue than a minor crack.

In 2018, the town’s Community Services Department brought in Greenview Environmental Management Ltd. to investigate the deterioration, provide remedial alternatives and provide a cost.

The company found a number of “critical deficiencies” related to design and construction including an insufficient layer of free-draining aggregate material to avoid the collection of water underneath the concrete slab, an insufficient amount of rebar reinforcement installed in the concrete and the concrete did not meet the required strength requirements.

As such, Greenview recommended the town replace the skate park with a properly engineered and constructed structure to ensure safe, long term, recreational use of the facility with minimal ongoing maintenance costs and risk.

“Traditionally there is about a 2-year warranty on these kinds of projects and by the time we had realized there was a large issue, too much time had passed,” Nadorozny responded when asked why the town is paying for the rebuild. “It wasn’t anything we missed in the contract but next time we have an issue with a project we will be more quick to raise a flag on it.”

The project is of a large enough nature that it is possible to change design elements of the park should it be needed or desired, he confirmed. Community input will be utilized to determine that and the town is in the process of planning a skateboard event at the park to engage local youth in a question and answer manner to gain input on the current design and any potential changes.

The town also plans to survey users for the same reason.

A formal timeline for the project has yet to be set but the town anticipated the completion of the design and contract to be awarded early in 2020.

In the meantime, the skate park is inspected daily, April through November, by parks staff ensuring the facility is safe for use as per the town’s park maintenance standard service levels.

Staff also continue to patch and grind the concrete deficiencies, utilizing various measures and methods to help mitigate the ongoing problems and reduce risk to users.

For more information about the park or public input opportunities, visit