Emily Small of Parksville, right, helps her son, Russell, 2, move sand using an excavator toy at Community Park’s Ventureland Playground Sunday, April 8, 2018. The city will replace the sand with a rubber play surface over the next five years. — J.R. Rardon photo

Emily Small of Parksville, right, helps her son, Russell, 2, move sand using an excavator toy at Community Park’s Ventureland Playground Sunday, April 8, 2018. The city will replace the sand with a rubber play surface over the next five years. — J.R. Rardon photo

Parksville’s Ventureland Playground to get new surface

$450,000 awarded for five-year contract

It appears the pending replacement water park will not be the only feature sporting a new look at Parksville’s Community Park.

Parksville council unanimously approved a $450,000, five-year contract to replace the playing surface at the Lions Club’s Ventureland Playground beginning in 2018.

The budget includes $130,000 in 2018 and $80,000 in each of the next four years to replace the existing sand playing surface with a rubberized playing surface.

“The sand has been determined to shorten the life of the existing playground equipment, and it’s also a sub-standard fall surface,” director of engineering and operations Vaughn Figueira told councillors during a verbal report at its April 4 meeting. “It also costs more in maintenance than rubber surfacing.”

The contract was awarded to Marathon Surfaces, which has previously installed surfaces at Foster Park, the Lions Fit Gym at Community Park and a few select areas of Ventureland Playground.

Under a proposal submitted to city staff by Marathon Surfaces, the company will not simply surface the playground. The city asked Marathon to incorporate a seaside theme, and the company responded with a 3-D concept including waves, playground “islands” and aquatic creatures from orcas to giant squid to sea turtles.

The city received five responses to its request for proposals (RFP), which were reviewed by a team of staff including parks foreman Warren Payne and two certified playground inspectors, along with a pair of Lions Club members, Payne noted in his written report to council.

The staff proposal to replace the sand surface arose from a 2017 decision to replace the zipline in the playground, for $120,000. Of the original amount, $50,000 is scheduled to be used toward adding the new surface under the new ZipKrooz project.

In its provisional 2018 budget, council included $95,000 per year toward new surfacing for the entire playground. Staff recommended $15,000 of that amount each year be used to prepare the playground to receive the new material, and the remaining $80,000 to be used toward purchase and installation.