Several concepts for a redesign of Sparwood’s Centennial Square have been unveiled to the District Council, giving the public the opportunity to choose what they would like to see in the community.
The public will have a pair of options to choose from, with one offering more engagement opportunities, but will be more costly. The second option will cost about half as much but will lack several features.
“If we go for the full meal deal, which is a small skating rink and an ice plant and all the things that come with it, it’s probably around $4 million. If we go with the more plain Jane model, it’s about $2 million,” said David Wilks, Sparwood Mayor. “I certainly look at the prospect of ‘go big or go home’ from the perspective that Council is not building this for 2020, we’re building it for 2050, and looking out 20 or 30 years.”
Wilks added that the public will get a chance to choose which design concept they like more in late January or early February.
According to Mayor Wilks, the Square has not been renovated since 1984, and work is long overdue.
“After 35 years, its time to look at revitalizing Centennial Square. See if we can get something a little more modern in there that will hopefully bring in new businesses when they see a concept that is far more modern than what’s there now,” said Wilks.
Wilks said that once a plan is settled on, it will likely take about two years to be built, with demolition and prep work being done in the first year, and construction likely to be done in the second.
Earlier this year, the public was asked if they wanted the park to be redesigned, and most people said they wanted to see the Square get a new look.
“We had 250 people come to the public consultation period at Centennial Square. A majority of people, when I say the majority I mean about 90% of them, echoed that they wanted to see something new and different and better,” Wilks said to MyEastKootenayNow.com. “We will always get people that will want to leave it the same, but the reality is: if we want to move Sparwood forward, we also have to modernize ourselves.”
On top of the redesign for Centennial Square, the exterior will also be getting some work done, with a revised wheelchair ramp, new stairs, and more trees. Wilks said the renovations to the building will address some safety concerns.