The City of Parksville has provided an update on future and ongoing upgrades to Parksville Community Park, including work on a new outdoor stage and gathering space, upgrades to Lions Ventureland Playground and a new washroom facility.
“The park continues to be our local jewel and an important amenity for residents and visitors of all ages,” reads a release from the City of Parksville. “We are excited to welcome visitors and residents back to the park for post-pandemic special events and festivities as well as day-to-day enjoyment.”
New outdoor stage and gathering space
The outdoor stage and gathering space received funding of $1.26 million through a Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure grant and the outdoor stage received an additional $204,750 in funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust.
In September 2021, council allocated $515,000 from general revenue for construction of the stage. Construction of the stage is underway and the city said it anticipates the project to be ready for use in late June. Request for proposals for construction of the gathering place will soon be issued, with construction scheduled to begin this fall.
Lions Ventureland Playground
Improvements included major upgrades to surfacing and new playground equipment. These improvements increase accessibility to the playground and the new equipment for all ages and abilities. Through the pandemic, the playground was an important outdoor space for children and their families, according to the city. It continues to benefit from the generosity of the Parksville Lions Club, with a new splash park added in 2018 with the help from community organizations and donations from the public. The city currently has an outstanding grant application for additional rubber surfacing in the playground.
The city received a grant last year, through Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Green Municipal Fund, for $168,300 to complete a stormwater management master plan for the park. The plan is complete and a grant application was submitted to the Green Infrastructure Fund in February for $1.6 million to implement priority stormwater management projects in the park.
Kin Hut and washroom facilities
Council approved the continued use of the Kin Hut washrooms and $499,000 for a new washroom facility. The city said it will soon issue requests for proposals for construction of the new washroom, with construction to follow immediately after a contract is awarded.
“We know the existing washroom facility was often over capacity and this will help alleviate the demand when we welcome people and events back to the park,” the city said in the release.
Safe sports play
Upgrades in the park include the accessible viewing and safe access to the area near the volleyball courts, pedestrian connections and pathways, as well as resurfacing and repairs for the skateboard park, lacrosse box and racquet courts.
In March 2022, council approved Gas Tax funding to cover an expenditure of $362,000 for sports courts safety and accessibility improvements. From 2021, an additional $295,000 will be applied to the work as a carry forward for a total of $657,000 dedicated to other improvements.
-Upgrades to the volleyball court include physical barriers around the play area to prevent conflicts between players and vehicles and a new viewing area with bleachers, which will also contain errant balls during play.
-Addition of a new accessible pathway, designated pickup and drop-off zone, and crosswalk near the washrooms and food truck pads.
-Upgrades to the skateboard park expected to get underway this year will repair the cracks, heaves and ponding.
-The lacrosse box will be repaired, resurfaced, and relined for lacrosse, pickle ball and basketball play. Bleachers and bike racks will be installed.
-Racquet courts will be repaired, resurfaced and relined for one permanent tennis and four permanent pickle ball courts with a physical barrier between. Bleachers and bike racks will be installed.