(PQB News file photo)

(PQB News file photo)

Improvements planned for Parksville Community Park

Crews will work on projects starting in February

City planning is well underway to improve amenities in the 100-year-old Parksville Community Park.

The improvements coming in 2023 will make the park more enjoyable, as well as improve safety and accessibility for users, according to a news release by the City of Parksville.

As the work progresses over the next six months, there will be significant disruptions in areas of the park and the city will keep park visitors informed as the projects progress.

Work on the park’s Gathering Plaza is set to begin in February and will include demolition of existing hardscape, site preparation, tree protection, plaza and path paving, seating, tables and benches, new curbing, shade canopy, bike racks, waste receptacles, landscaping, electrical and potable water services to support food trucks and performances, stormwater management and outdoor shower relocation.

The park will be open during construction. The plaza project will include the area surrounding the washroom and Sandcastle Drive, with expected closures during construction. Portable washrooms will be provided for public use and while Sandcastle Drive is closed and the north end of the park will be best accessed by parking in the large gravel parking lot behind the curling rink and walking along the access road.

READ MORE: Neighbours express support for business at Parksville public hearing

Changes are coming to the park’s sports courts as well. Constructed in the 1970s, the tennis courts have been updated over time. With the demand for dedicated court space for pickleball, the city will convert one of the two tennis courts to four dedicated pickleball courts and also repair, resurface and repaint the play area to accommodate four dedicated pickleball courts, one tennis court with additional pickleball line painting for temporary use, and install fencing to separate the users.

Construction is set to begin in March and the courts will be closed, as well as periodic closure of the adjacent pathways.

A new washroom building will be constructed near the southwest corner of the large gravel parking lot behind the curling rink. It will provide accessible male and female services and outdoor showers. Construction is set to begin in March and the area will be closed during construction. The Kin Hut washroom will continue to be used.

A new staging and spectator area for beach volleyball is being developed to better support events and allow improved viewing. Upgrades to the volleyball court area also include fencing to control errant balls. New pedestrian pathways will better connect parking areas to the washrooms, gathering plaza, playground and splash park. Construction is scheduled for March.

The Parksville Community Park skatepark was constructed in the late 1990s and is approaching its end of life. Until there is sufficient funding for complete replacement, repairs will include cutting, grinding, and filling cracks and failing concrete. Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in March, but is weather dependent.

New pedestrian pathways and a passenger drop-off area will be constructed to connect the large gravel parking area behind the curling arena, the new washroom building, the volleyball area and the gathering plaza.

A long speed table will be constructed on Sandcastle Drive adjacent to the existing washroom building to calm traffic in the pedestrian area. It will also eliminate curbs to enhance accessibility. Construction is scheduled for March.

Lions Ventureland Playground improvements include major upgrades to surfacing and new playground equipment to increase accessibility to the playground for all ages and abilities.

The city received a grant of $300,000 from Pacific Economic Development, Canada Community Revitalization Fund for accessibility upgrades to the playground. The city’s contribution to the project is $100,000, with the work to be completed by March 31.

In 2021, through Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Green Municipal Fund, the city received a grant for $168,300 to complete a stormwater management master plan for the park. This plan is complete and a grant application was submitted to the Green Infrastructure Fund in early 2022 for $1.6 million to implement priority stormwater management projects in the park.

More information and ongoing updates are available at Let’s Talk Parksville.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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