A new water park at South Surrey Athletic Park will connect to the playground and promises to be ready for next year.

A new water park at South Surrey Athletic Park will connect to the playground and promises to be ready for next year.

New water park to make South Surrey splash in spring

Rugby field house and covered soccer facility also planned for park

It’s been a hot, dry summer at South Surrey Athletic Park, but the city is promising relief next year in the form of a new water park by spring.

Ted Uhrich, manager of parks planning for the City of Surrey, said last week that a new water park – estimated to cost $800,000 – is now ready for tender, and construction is scheduled to begin in early 2017. It’s expected to be complete before the May long weekend.

Uhrich said the old water park, having reached the end of its useful life, was decommissioned before this summer season. Although shutting it down before summer resulted in some complaints, Uhrich said the new water park will be more efficient with water use and will be built in close proximity to the playground next to the Rotary Field House.

“There was a separation between water park and playground, so we saw a great opportunity to bring those two directly next to each other and create a really fun core to the park, where the kids, parents and families could all hang out together when they’re not playing sports or at the rec centre.”

South Surrey Athletic Park has seen numerous changes since the city launched a traffic and parking study. That led to a park-improvement project, which began in 2014 with an aim to improve vehicle and pedestrian flow and safety.

Besides joining the playground and water park in the centre of the park, the project also realigned the entrance driveway, changed the flow of traffic to avoid backups and provided more parking within close proximity to the recreation centre.

“It’s an incredibly busy park and that’s one of our challenges – implementing these new changes to the park while keeping it up and running,” Uhrich said.

The city is also partnering with community groups on two other capital projects getting closer to becoming reality.

Coastal Football Club has long proposed a covered practice facility with artificial turf, just east of Softball City in an overflow gravel parking lot. Uhrich said the club is now drafting a detailed design, and construction is scheduled for next year.

Coastal is funding the construction cost, while the city is providing the land.

Another shared project is with the Bayside Athletics Club for a rugby field house on the south side of 20 Avenue, next to an existing batting facility. The city is planning to build a $1.2-million structure with four change rooms and public washrooms, while Bayside would be responsible for a second-storey that would add a multipurpose room and kitchen. Uhrich said detailed design work on on the project is underway.

Other park improvements have already been completed at Softball City, where numerous renovations were finished ahead of July’s Women’s World Softball Championship.

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