Construction has begun on the Centennial Park playground, with new playground equipment expected to arrive next week.
The old structures have been removed and crews are awaiting the delivery of new ones. In the meantime, the construction process has begun with site excavation and a new cement retaining wall to contain the play surface.
“The new playground will make use of natural materials like wood, rocks and rope,” said project manager Elizabeth FitzZaland. “Play features will include swings, a jungle climbing dome and a toddler parkour course. The metal rocking horse will be re-installed and the grassy hills will stay.”
Plans include the installation of a slide that will use the existing grassy berm, with the addition of some natural log steps. Wooden benches will also be installed near the younger children’s play area for parents.
Salt Spring Island parks and recreation manager Dan Ovington added that one of the new features will be a drainage system “so that the playground can be used year round and [will] no longer flood.”
Installation of the new equipment is scheduled for the first week in December, to be completed in time for the school holiday. The CRD will be holding a soft launch of the playground in mid-December to welcome families to the new facility. Additional landscaping will occur in the new year. An official launch of the completed playground planned for the 2020 Easter long weekend.
The playground update was the second phase of the Centennial Park master plan. The first phase was the construction of a new washroom and drainage system under the park. Planning had been underway for much of the past year, and included public consultation in the spring. Funding to the tune of $100,000 for the playground structure was provided by the Salt Spring Island Lions’ Club.
“The next phase is to address the uneven parking lot and front promenade as well as direct flow out of the market onto the sidewalk and not into the Harbour Authority’s parking lot as it currently does,” Ovington said.
He explained that funding for that phase has been allocated for 2020, but that work would not begin until after the market season is finished next year.