11 March 2021
More than 3000 cubic metres of earth will be transported to Kuirau Park from next week marking the next step toward a new skate park for Rotorua.
The material has been in place at Rotorua Lakefront for the past four months to preload the new playground site. It will now be reused to preload the site for the new skate park at Kuirau Park.
The team from Campbell Contracting Limited, providing great support for the project, will begin to shift the preload by the middle of next week.
Preloading uses a large amount of earth to compress and stabilise the ground. This increases the ground’s strength and reduces the risk of uneven settlement during and after construction.
“This is a key step in moving toward construction of the new skate park at Kuirau Park. We’ve always said this project will rely on external funding, so being able to save significant costs by recycling the preload from the Lakefront Redevelopment will have a positive impact on the overall project budget,” says Council’s Operations Group Manager Jocelyn Mikaere.
“Kuirau Park has always been the spot for families to visit for a bit of free fun and a new skate park will be a wonderful addition to add to the family-friendly vibe.”
The proposal to move the skate park to Kuirau Park was signalled to the community during the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan consultation period and Council set aside $750,000 for preliminary work. Part of that funding was used to enable a series of geotechnical tests which have provided assurance that Kuirau Park will be suitable to construct the new skate park.
The new park, which will be located at the corner of Kuirau Road and Pukuatua Street will cater for skateboards, scooters, roller skaters and trick bikes.
An advisory group made up of skate park designers, Council staff and community members have worked together in recent years to investigate the development of the facility. Council and the advisory group will come together and will work with the community on what needs to be incorporated into the design for the new skate park.
Council’s skate park project team will also continue to look for external funding opportunities to support the development of the new skate park.
How long will the preload be in place?
The work to move the preload material will take about a month. The preload mound will be approximately 1.5 metres at the highest point and will be in place for about 12 to 24 months. Once all the preload material is on site at Kuirau Park it will be grass seeded to stabilise the soil and prevent dust.
Why was Kuirau Park chosen for the skate park?
- It is close to the city centre and is easy to access from the CyWay and bus routes;
- There is suitable facilities, such as parking and toilets within the wider park to support this activity, with more already planned as part of the overall Kuirau Park re-development;
- It will enhance the current no cost, family friendly offerings and extend on the current age related play activities to provide spaces for a wide range of family groups.
Why is the skate park going on the corner of Kuirau and Pukuatua Streets?
- It’s a high visibility site and this increases the safety of people using the park;
- The site is big enough to provide for a multi-user skate park whilst maintaining significant green space;
- Due to the geothermal nature of much of the park, this area is deemed the most suitable for construction;
- Allows other areas within the park to be developed in a cohesive way that is sympathetic to the geothermal environment and makes the most of the current park layout. (e.g. plans to create a geothermal play area extending on the existing play space)
Were other locations considered?
Sheaf Park, where the current skate park is located, was considered. However Kuirau Park provided greater benefits for users in terms of safety, connection to facilities and a more pleasant environment. Adding a skate park within Kuirau Park would enhance the park as family friendly recreational community asset.
Why has the construction of the new skate park been delayed?
We’ve always said this project will rely on external funding, and we know that funders across the board have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Council is currently in the pre-planning stages of the next Long-term Plan. The Plan sets out how Council will fund future capital projects and investment.
What is happening in the meantime?
Council will prepare the new skate park site with pre-load material to compact the earth and ensure it is suitable for construction. Work is continuing to prepare for the design phase and to the secure funding needed to complete the project.
Has there been community consultation on the location?
Development of a skate park within Kuirau Park was consulted on within the 2018 – 2028 Long Term Plan consultation.
What things will be considered during the design process?
Through the initial community engagement process for Sheaf Park and subsequent feedback from the community, we learnt that the skate park design should incorporate:
- elements to cater for a variety of users and a range of abilities;
- skate-able art features that reflect what is unique about Rotorua;
- elements to enable both community and national events;
- seating, shade, planting, lawn areas, security lighting and other similar features to enhance landscape value of the space for all users and neighbours;
- materials ( such as concrete) that will be hard wearing and is much quieter than wooden/metal ramps particularly for residents and businesses close to the skate park.
Council will work with the advisory group and the wider community as plans for the new skate park are developed. Once detailed designs are finalised, the community will have further opportunity to provide feedback to Council.