What started as a plan to build a splash park in Burns Lake has now expanded to encompass a broader revitalization project at Spirit Square and Radley Beach.
Council gave village staff the green light last week to develop the revitalization project, which is expected to include the installation of a new playground, landscaping and upgrades that would improve sound quality for performers.
This follows a recent council decision to use $400,000 from a provincial grant to pay for the construction of a splash park.
“Due to the financial commitment from the village for the splash park, this is an opportune time to leverage the contribution and grow the project instead of seeking funds year after year for smaller projects,” village staff stated in a report to council.
The Radley Beach playground is near the end of its lifespan unless extensive upgrades take place, according to the report. While it was built 18 years ago, in 2002, the typical playground lifespan is between 15-25 years.
Although currently usable, the playground is in need of repairs.
Several foundation pieces such as stairs and slides have shifted over time and need to be redone, and some pieces will need to be removed as they are broken and present injury risk, according to the report. In addition, the wood-chips around the equipment need to be filled up considerably to meet standards.
“The playground likely does not meet currently playground safety standards; however, it is legal because it was installed prior to regulation changes,” village staff stated in the report. “If it is not replaced soon, the repair costs will be rising.”
The playground installation is estimated to cost between $150,000 and $200,000 while landscaping in the beach area would cost about $10,000.
Village staff will also determine the feasibility of installing materials at the bandstand to improve sound quality. Currently, the sound from performers and speakers is not projected forward, reducing the quality that reaches the audience, according to the village.
Other improvements to the area may also be considered.
Sheryl Worthing, Burns Lake’s chief administrative officer, said the final project proposal is expected to be brought back to council for approval sometime this summer.
Although the broader revitalization project is dependent on the success of grant writing and community interest, the splash park will be installed this summer, Worthing said, adding preliminary survey work and engineered planning have already been completed.