An Oshawa businessman is pushing the city to build an indoor skatepark.
Kris Handson, founder and owner of the Progression Skateboard company, created a petition to help get an indoor skatepark in Oshawa.
As soon as he thought of the idea at work, he went home and created the online petition.
It has more than 780 signatures.
“I was like ‘I’m just going to give it a shot and if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work’ but I’m going to push until I can’t push it anymore,” said Handson.
Once the petition was created, Handson had a meeting with Oshawa mayor Dan Carter on Oct.19.
Carter said there are several things to consider before a decision is made.
The first thing, according to Carter, is the City needs to know the cost of the project.
Carter added: “number two is my son is a professional snowboarder, he started with Alcatraz as a sponsor skater at one time, so I know it’s a very popular sport, and it would be interesting to see what’s being proposed.”
Handson gave a ballpark figure, estimating the skatepark may cost between $500,000 and $700,000 to build.
Carter said, in a past investigation for a BMX facility, the City hired a consultant which was around $150,000 to $250,000 to get the information, and the mayor pointed out a building also includes costs around design, property, and the structure itself.
Carter told Handson to get an approximate cost of the indoor skatepark, which will give city council a better starting point.
“It’s like saying, I want a car and I go ‘OK so I found a Ferrari’…but I only have $18,” Carter said.
During the winter, Oshawa skaters have a tendency to ride in the Oshawa Centre parking garage but get kicked out every week, said Handson.
“I know the whole security there because they kick me out every week,” Handson said.
Having an indoor skatepark will help keep vandalism down in the city which is caused by skaters who ride on ledges and rails, Handson said.
“There are certain ledges that people like to skate on, and you have to wax them up and then you know if you walk downtown you see a black ledge and it is just covered with black and it looks kind of like plasticky that’s because it’s just been waxed so many times with candles or actual skate wax,” said Handson.
In the petition, Handson said “this would be a ‘win, win’ for the city. Skaters get to skate, and the city receives less vandalism.”
Handson said he has an eye on a 10,000 square foot property in Oshawa that would be perfect for an indoor skatepark. Handson has one place in mind for an indoor skatepark somewhere off of Taunton Road but declined to elaborate.
“Honestly, anywhere in Oshawa would be sweet, it doesn’t really matter,” he said.
The petition is posted on change.org with the title ‘help the community get an indoor skatepark in Oshawa.’