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Awen Waterplay Area costs reach $1.9M

Park now expected to be open by summer of 2023

While the pandemic may have caused a delay, plans are back on track for the Awen Waterplay Area.

Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture Dean Collver provided a brief update to council on Monday night (May 17) regarding the status of the park project, slated to be built in Harbourview Park adjacent to the Awen Gathering Place.

According to Collver’s update, the expected cost of the project has now been budgeted at $1.9 million, which is an increase from the original $1.5 million estimate.

“The last few years have been difficult and we’re still working through some challenges,” said Collver.

The Awen Waterplay Area is planned to include multiple water play features such as a waterfall, a splash pad, a washroom/change facility and parking. The water used at the site will be recycled.

Ojibwa advisor, elder and knowledge keeper Dr. Duke Redbird was also consulted on the design of the site.

“This has been a long-sought-after facility in the community,” said Collver.

Collver said the costs of the project will be covered by development charges.

The construction timeline has been updated with the completion of construction expected in the fall of 2022, and the grand opening planned by the summer of 2023.

As Harbourview Park is the site of a closed landfill, the site was cleaned when it was closed and materials that would be considered hazardous and/or create off-gasses like methane were removed. Inorganic materials such as hose, carpet and glass remain buried at the site and covered with topsoil.

The town had a D-4 study done on the site and on adjacent lands, which is a comprehensive review used for former landfills and adjacent lands to determine the impact of development on the land and identify potential hazards. The D-4 done on Harbourview Park did not identify hazards, and cleared it for development.

The parking lot grading and stormwater management was completed in August 2021. Only one bid was received for construction of the park, and final negotiations with the bidder are underway. Collver noted the cost could decrease after negotiations are complete.

A full report on the project is planned to come before council at their May 30 meeting.

With files from Erika Engel.