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Work has started on the $1 million plus redevelopment and upgrade of Southsea Terrace Park, which includes a new state-of-the-art skateboard and rollerblade facility costing in excess of $500,000. Heavy equipment moved onto the site a couple of weeks ago, following on from preliminary drainage works and toilet block plumbing works carried out late last year.According to Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards, “Work on the project will now continue in earnest with works anticipated to be completed before the end of May this year, weather permitting."It is a very significant project and a substantial commitment of funds from the Redland City Council.” It took several months for the designs to be finalised and to organise tenders for the intricate ramps involved in the project. Skate facilities are a specialised area of construction and as such experienced builders in that field have been contracted for the construction.Cr Mark Edwards says the project will give Macleay Island a youth space facility to cater for their social needs and also benefit other residents who use the wider parkland.“The ramp park is seen as a major factor in providing valuable social entertainment and activity for the youth of the island whilst keeping it centrally located to other facilities such as the hall.”“The skate park has been designed for beginner, intermediate and advanced users and features ramps, steps and grind walls for skaters, scooter and BMX riders. “In addition there will be a performance stage, shelter, seating, drinking fountain and toilets, providing a facility the entire community can use. “With free travel between the bay islands available through TransLink, all SMBI residents will be able to access the new skate park for free.”Macleay Island park development is more than a skate park, it is a broader park bounded by Southsea and Scarborough Terraces and High Central Road. The concept for the skate park came about following issues in relation to youth and the lack of facilities on the SMB Islands. The National Association of Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) produced a 2011 report after the 'Own it on the Islands' youth event identified a ramp as a high priority for the youth of the islands.Cr Edwards said: “This engagement included workshops with the community to find out what they wanted to see in the skate park,” he said. “The community should be proud of this project and the work done by locals and community groups who helped design the facility,” the Division 5 Councillor concluded.