CHPA graphic                                Aerial visualization of planned reconfiguration.

CHPA graphic Aerial visualization of planned reconfiguration.

White Rock’s Memorial Park revamping moves ahead

Video shows digital visualization of waterfront project including rebuild of washrooms

The City of White Rock is moving ahead with its plans to reconfigure the waterfront Memorial Park and provide new washrooms at the pier.

At last week’s council meeting, the city awarded the contract for the work, for $4,508,490 (not including GST) to Fricia Construction Inc.

Work is scheduled to begin in September, just after the Labour Day weekend, with demolition of the existing washrooms. The overall project is estimated to take 44 weeks – which would place completion some time in July 2018.

Designed by Craven Houston Powers Architects, who have provided a digital visualization video, it combines reconstruction of washroom facilities and viewing platform with a reconfiguration of the park, developed through a process that involved extended public meetings and feedback.

“It started with a simple plan and ended up with something fantastic,” engineering and municipal operations director Greg St. Louis told council, in presenting a progress report on the project.

It will provide a new flexible plaza space, public art, amphitheatre seating, built-in lighting, enlarged washrooms, a children’s water-spray pad and a wider promenade in the area, which reaches from the east side of the Mueseum and Archives to the current parking lot to the east of the existing washrooms.

Also included are what St. Louis termed “revitalizing the green lawn” and retaining two large foxglove trees.

St. Louis told council that engineering approval for the project has been received from Burlington Northern Santa Fe – which owns the land on which the project is located – with approval of design work pending (the city will also be required to pay for BNSF safety flaggers during work which comes within 25 feet of the tracks).

Chief administrative officer Dan Bottrill told council the city is examining possible amendments of its current lease with BNSF, which runs until 2023.

As noted in St. Louis written report, BNSF may require such amendments “due to the value of proposed improvement on their property.”

In endorsing recommendations of the report, council has authorized the mayor and city clerk to sign any required amendments to allow completion of the project.

According to the report, total estimated cost of the project will be $5,548,490, of which $2,591,000 was already budgeted for an upgrade of the park, $1,810,000 was earmarked for reconstruction of the washrooms and viewing platform, and $100,000 had been allocated for artwork from the community public-art budget.

Council approved a temporary re-allocation of the remaining $1,047,490 from the 2018 funds budgeted for the extension of the promenade to Coldicutt Ravine.