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Georgina green-lights $11.1M park plans, including $9.7M West Park redesign

'Tremendous rewards' come with West Park redesign and new Sutton Community Park
April 16, 2019
Heidi Riedner

Two major parks got the green light to move forward after council approved the preferred designs for a rebuild of Keswick’s West Park and the new Sutton Community Park April 10.

“As a growing community, we know the value and tremendous rewards that come with creating and building parks and open spaces for our residents to enjoy,” Mayor Margaret Quirk said of the two projects that come with estimated construction price tags of a combined $11.1 million.

Plans for West Park, created in the 1980s and located at Ravenshoe Road and Lake Drive, are the result of public engagement that included three open houses, as well as dedicated webpages and an email for residents to submit questions or comments.

They include four adult/senior level slo-pitch/softball diamonds and facilities including washrooms, storage and viewing stands.

Amenities also include a multi-use field and community event space that can accommodate a full-size adult/senior soccer field, beach volleyball facilities, a multi-use court for basketball, pickleball and ball hockey, and, one half-basketball court.

Accessible junior and senior playgrounds, a water-play facility, primary and secondary trails, as well as paved parking for 245 vehicles, are also in the queue.

The construction budget for the West Park redevelopment is estimated to be $9.7 million, with a large majority of that pegged for extensive rehabilitation of the site due to historic flooding and drainage issues.

While ball diamond bookings revenue is approximately $50,000 annually, approximately $500,000 had been spent on basic repairs, improvements and maintenance at West Park when previous council approved a full build-out versus band-aid repairs.

"Due to the nature of the existing soils, high water table, and proximity to a Provincially Significant Wetland, the site is perpetually water-logged, causing poor drainage and frost heaving and settling of the facilities," the report states, adding full redevelopment requires significant soils remediation and total facility replacement comparable to the ROC facilities.

“West Park is an important outdoor space that has had many challenges,” Quirk said. “We have listened to residents’ concerns and are moving forward to the detailed design phase for its redevelopment.”

Detailed design and tender documents will be completed over the next five to six months, along with more detailed cost estimates to follow.

Plans for a new Sutton Community Park at the northwest edge of the Lakeside Meadows subdivision, north of Baseline Road and west of Dalton Road, include junior and senior playgrounds, a water-play facility, one multi-use court for basketball, pickleball and ball hockey, and a half-basketball court.

They also include a shade structure with lighting, fully accessible active and passive park facilities, an open recreational field capable of accommodating unprogrammed play, parking, a central paved trail system with a link to the Hodgson Trail and a perimeter fitness circuit with a strategically located fitness station and equipment.

The park land was conveyed to the town as part of the planning and development process. The estimated construction budget is $1.4 million, of which 90 per cent will be provided by development charges.

Construction on the park is anticipated to begin in the fall, with a summer 2020 completion.

“With a focus on accessibility and active living, both West Park and the new Sutton Park will provide opportunities for residents and visitors to participate in recreational activities in Georgina and take advantage of all the Town has to offer," Quirk said.