Skatepark definitely closed

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m., Wednesday

Summerland Mayor Toni Boot says the skatepark is officially closed to the public, as per newly installed official signage. 

Entry is now prohibited pending final completion. 

ORIGINAL: 4:47 p.m., Tuesday

Summerland council determined Monday night that the much-anticipated new skatepark won't technically be open until spring, pending a few final construction elements and a decision on what to name it. 

Council had the opportunity to decide how the park will be named, and chose to go with a committee made up of councillor Martin Van Alphen and representatives from major funder Penny Lane Legacy Fund, the skatepark committee and the school district.

"They will be coming up with recommendations of what the names should be and what it should say on the plaque, and that will come back to council," said Toni Boot, mayor of Summerland. "It would have been fun to have a naming contest but it was also really important that the groups that really invested time and certainly dollars into the actual project were recognized for their dedication in getting this finally finished."

The park is almost entirely completed, but still fenced in with signs indicating it is closed. That hasn't stopped some excited users from taking advantage of it, causing council to discuss officially taking down the barriers. 

"We had a bit of a discussion and decided that for liability reasons, it probably was best to keep the fence up and the signs there," Boot said. "It's a comfort knowing that it's not going to damage the skatepark at all, but at the same time, it's not completely finished and one of the things that is part of finishing it is making sure that the appropriate signage is in place, and those have to be developed still."

A grand, official opening is planned for April with an exact date to be determined based on the weather, and in the meantime the park is closed. 

"We're not saying that you absolutely cannot go on there, we're just requesting that people understand that it actually technically is not open yet, and you're kind of there at your own risk," Boot said. 

As soon as the weather is warm enough for construction crews to put a final seal on their work and complete landscaping projects, a date will be set to welcome the public. 

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