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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Home News Shovels ready: Rotary Club celebrates start of construction at new Adventure Park in Little Red

Shovels ready: Rotary Club celebrates start of construction at new Adventure Park in Little Red

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Shovels ready: Rotary Club celebrates start of construction at new Adventure Park in Little Red
Members of the Rotary Club of Prince Albert were joined by City officials and project supporters to celebrate the start of construction on the new Rotary Adventure Park in Little Red. Photo submitted by Jesse Kendall/Rotary Club of Prince Albert

After two years of fundraising and four years of planning, the shovels are finally in the ground at Little Red River Park.

Representatives from the Rotary Club of Prince Albert and their partners joined the City of Prince Albert in breaking new ground on the first official day of construction at the new Rotary Adventure Park. Prince Albert Rotarians spearheaded efforts to build the park as a way to celebrate 100 years of activity in the city.

“We’re pretty excited,” Rotary Club president Keith Fonstad said when asked about the ground breaking. “It’s been almost a four-year process to figure out what our centennial project might be. To be able to come up with a legacy project for having a club in the city for 100 years, do it right, come out with this project now and get to the point where we’re going to see construction here in the next few days is exciting.”

Representatives from Lake Country Co-op, the Prince Albert and Area Community Foundation, and local philanthropist Malcolm Jenkins were among the fundraising partners who joined in the festivities. Fonstad said they’re grateful to every organization who contributed, especially considering how difficult it was to raise funds over the last two years.

“We had this fantastic support right through the whole pandemic,” he explained. “Obviously, we had to cancel Lobsterfest in May of 2020, but we were able to switch around our fundraising efforts into the virtual take home events and now back to in person like we had a couple of weeks ago.

“We had great support from both our sponsors and the business community as well as participants for the raffles. It’s been just a great community response to get to the point where we can actually have construction start.”

Fonstad said Little Red River Park is a great area that sees lots of use, but could be improved even further. The Rotary Club views the adventure park as a way to give families even more options, since it’s geared towards children between the ages of eight and 13. They hope that will draw even more people to the area.

“It’s designed for that adventure side for kids who are ages eight to 13 who don’t really have a specific park for them within the City boundaries right now,” he explained. “This will give them something to look forward to and get out and use.”

Construction will begin this week, barring any delays. City of Prince Albert parks manager Tim Yeaman said they’ve tried to be as proactive as possible to avoid delays, but admitted there are things out of their control.

“I’m hoping we’re going to be ‘shovels in the ground’ before the weekend, but again, living in Saskatchewan, you take a look at the weather,” he said. “Everything is conducive to what you see when looking outside the window. Of course, there’s rain in the forecast for Friday, so we’re hopeful that forecast will change, but we have confidence in the contractor that we’re going to proceed with caution.

Yeaman said they’ve acquired all the parts and pieces they need to avoid supply chain issues or other delays caused by COVID-19. The early acquisition also helped them avoid cost increases.

Contractors told city employees they could expect to pay nine to 15 per cent more if they waited to buy the equipment.

The City made the purchase, and now has those parts and pieces sitting in storage waiting for transportation to Little Red. City representatives have a meeting with the contractor scheduled for Wednesday where they’ll discuss moving the crates to the construction area.

Yeaman said the City spent the last two years planning for this project. He’s confident construction will be finished by July, if not sooner.

“Finally being able to see to see us move into the actual construction phase is amazing,” he said.

“There are not just a ton of great things that are happening already in the park this year, but a tonne of great things that are going to transform that park by the end of the summer.”