A slide shown during city staff’s presentation to Parksville council on March 15. The slide shows the west ramp being removed, as deemed unnecessary by staff and to reduce costs, and the east ramp being lengthened since it was deemed too steep and not long enough. (Submitted photo)

A slide shown during city staff’s presentation to Parksville council on March 15. The slide shows the west ramp being removed, as deemed unnecessary by staff and to reduce costs, and the east ramp being lengthened since it was deemed too steep and not long enough. (Submitted photo)

City staff updates Parksville council on outdoor theatre project

Physical structural and layout changes made to reduce cost and improve safety

The Parksville Outdoor Theatre project is well underway and could be completed within months.

During the latest Parksville city council meeting on Monday, March 15, the director of engineering for the city, Joseph Doxey, presented an update on the progress of the Parksville Outdoor Theatre.

“Currently we’re at the point of initiating the building permit application… Depending on the timing, the pricing and the schedules of the responding contractors we’ll know more information, but it theoretically could be built in the next couple months and be completed.”

Doxey reaffirmed to council the outdoor theatre project was first initiated by the Parksville Beach Festival Society under the approval and direction of the previous city council, and was endorsed again and continued with the current council.

Part of the update Doxey went over included the changes made during the past six months to the theatre’s structure and layout.

One of the physical changes noted was the removal of the wings along the rear of the building. This change was made not only to reduce cost but doing so would eliminate ‘dark corners’ of the structure that could potentially provide space that might “encourage misbehaviour.”

READ MORE: Parksville Beach Festival Society awarded $40,000 for outdoor theatre in community park

An aspect kept in mind with the structure design concept that Doxey referred to as “crime prevention through environment design.” Though the rear wings were seemingly for aesthetics purposes, city staff were mindful in eliminating any area that “might become an area where people could do mischievous activities.”

Coun. Adam Fras asked if any pre-planning or wiring for security cameras for the theatre had been discussed yet. Doxey said that cameras were not planned to be installed “out of the hat”, but it could be worked through within their operational budget, but in terms of exactly what type of system they would use still needs to be discussed with the IT department.

In his presentation Doxey also went over the funding the project has received to date.

In 2020, the project received funding through the North Island Coast Development Initiative Trust for approximately $204,750. That funding, he said, allowed for an additional stack of funds in which the city and the Parksville Beach Festival Society applied for; the Provincial and Federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program through the Community, Culture and Recreation stream. That grant was for $926,540.

The Parksville Beach Festival Society also recently issued a release on March 11 noting the project had been awarded an additional $40,000 from the BC Arts Council.


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