Washroom doors at Penzer Action Park in Langley City, as seen here on Wednesday June 17, 2020, have been kicked in repeatedly, forcing the city to spend $15,000 on heavy-duty doors. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Closing a door on vandalism at Langley City’s Parkour park

‘Frustrated’ by repeated incidents, staff win approval for $15,000 heavy-duty doors for washrooms

Vandalism has reached new and unpleasant heights at Langley City’s Penzer Action Park, home to Canada’s largest outdoor Parkour course.

On Monday June 15, following repeated incidents where doors to the park washrooms were kicked in and the interior vandalized, staff won approval from council to spend just over $15,000 on force-resistant metal-reinforced doors.

On Tuesday night June 16, the vandals returned, parks manager Jonn Epplette reported.

‘We had a huge amount of vandalism,” Epplette related.

“Both washrooms were vandalized, doors completely kicked in, soap dispensers smashed, soap refills sprayed all over the walls, feces all over the floor, three trees damaged and every [social distancing] sign that was placed [the day before] has been destroyed,” Epplette described.

In a report to City council, Rick Bomhof, director of engineering, parks and environment said since the  re-opening of the Penzer washrooms on May 19, the park has experienced a “higher volume of vandalism.”

“Washroom design, typically, includes inward opening doors which is what is provided at Penzer Park; however, the door lock and mechanism will break with rigorous kicking,” Bomhof noted.

VIDEO: Repurposed Penzer Park pulls in plenty of people

After a similar round of vandalism at the Linwood Park washroom, the City installed outward swinging doors of a design similar to the Penzer doors in April, and they have proven to be a success, Bomhof wrote.

Bomhof said the parks department was also planning on installing vandal-resistant doors at Rotary Centennial Park this summer prior to its re-opening.

Surveillance cameras to deter vandalism are considered a last resort, Bomhof explained, something that would be installed only after exhausting less privacy-invasive alternatives like the outward swinging doors.

Bomhof called the situation “frustrating” and the extent of damage to the washroom interiors “disgusting.”

He appealed to residents in the area to keep an eye out for any questionable activity in the park and to report it to police immediately.

“As you can imagine, there must have been quite a racket when the doors were being kicked in,:” Bomhof commented.

READ ALSO: Upgrades coming to popular Penzer Park in Langley City (with video)

Penzer Action Park at 198C Street and 47A Avenue reopened in 2017 after undergoing a $1.3 million re-do with $500,000 coming from the federal government and $800,000 from the City.

The former baseball diamond and soccer pitch now features a Parkour facility believed to be the biggest of its kind in Canada, a 10,000-square foot collection of wooden forms to accommodate a sport where competitors navigate obstacles by running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, and other movements.

Its greater than expected popularity forced the City to accelerate other planned upgrades, like the washrooms, to accommodate the influx of visitors.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CrimeLangley City

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Slo-pitch league to resume play

Township approves resumption, with restrictions, league president says

Langley invited to pedal kart race to raise funds for Madison Place families after fire

Langley businesses partner up with SouthRidge church for the three-weekend pedal go-kart fundraiser

No exodus of teachers during COVID year

Retirements are actually down for Langley’s school-based staff

Driver maces pedestrian after hit and run in Langley City

Police were on the scene at Michaud Crescent Wednesday morning

Langley church donates $10,000 for Madison Place families left homeless after condo fire

‘When this one happened it was almost like deja vu,’ says pastor Paul Olson of SouthRidge church

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

BCSPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read