The volleyball courts at Parksville Community Park may look different next summer.
During the most recent council meeting on Monday, June 21, the manager of communications for the city, Deb Tardiff, presented to council a grant proposal for improvements to the courts.
The grant application, for no more than $50,000, to the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative includes the addition of two new crosswalks from the accessible parking spaces, a ‘cut-out’ and accessible gravel pathway across the grassy area near the southwest corner of the courts, an accessible viewing pad near the picnic tables, a ‘cut-out’ pathway and viewing pad on the north side of the courts near the existing accessible parking spaces, a perimeter fence along the west and north sides of the courts as to reduce the risk of unsafe interactions with vehicles, expansion of the court area to the north with additional sand, bleacher seats for parental supervision for training and spectator viewing for league games and sports tourism events, and a loading zone on the south end to facilitate emergency vehicles and act as a safe drop-off and event staging area.
“As we move into post-COVID, there will be more opportunities and more of a demand for people wanting to be outside and recreational activities,” said Tardiff during Monday’s presentation.
The suggested improvements were based on discussions about safety and user concerns with Volleyball BC and VIU.
Tardiff said the city will know if the grant application was successful or not within two or three months, meaning the work to improve the volleyball courts would be done through late winter to early spring 2022, with the expectation of project completion before the courts reopen in May next year.
“I think a proposal like this has the potential of making Parksville the beach volleyball hub of Vancouver Island,” said Coun. Doug O’Brien.
Coun. Teresa Patterson’s motion to support the grant application, seconded by Coun. Al Greir, passed unanimously.