It was May of 2013 when the Westsyde Community Development Society, executive had a meeting with City, Parks staff to discuss the current status of the water park project proposed to be built in Centennial Park. During that year’s City Council budget discussions, $20,000 was to be allocated towards this project annually. After the 2013 and 2014 budgets, this totalled $40,000. Together with funds raised by the WCDS we had $60,000. The original estimate of the water park in the 2013/14 Supplemental Capital City Budget was a whopping $600,000, the WCDS were four years into this project and the price had kept increasing every year. The amount for the park was proposed to the city to be funded over two budget years, 2013/14 and 2014/15 which Council rejected.
During the WCDS’s May meeting, it was suggested the original budget cost of $600,000 could be reduced if the water park used a different water filtration system. The budget could be reduced to perhaps $450,000 and also spread over two budget years; this might be more easily funded if considered by Council.
The WCDS executive in the interim had applied for additional grants from several sources and had continued to fundraise and felt confident to take on acting as their own contractor, but still being in partnership with the City of Kamloops. This approach would enable the society to approach a contractor and supplier participants to volunteer both time, materials and labour for the designated Phase 1 portion of the project. It was also agreed at that meeting, that City Parks staff would over the summer months contact water park playground suppliers and review alternate available water filtration systems then, with this information, meet again with the society executive in late September to formulize a design concept, which could have Westsyde community neighbourhood involvement and review over the winter months.
Then, at the Westsyde Community Development Society regular meeting and AGM of June 5th, special guest Nick De Cicco, City of Kamloops, Projects and Planning Supervisor confirmed that with Council’s approval in the 2015/16 budget of funds totalling $350,000 for all of the Centennial Park Water Park, contingent on the WCDS funding the first phase, the change room building. This would make it is possible for much of the work for the water park project to be done in 2014. The society’s executive members present also reviewed several different plans for the park, including various water features, layout, and configurations with furniture, such as benches, and picnic tables.
Phase I, the construction of the new change rooms, storage, and wash rooms building adjacent to the Ralph Clearwaters Multiplex Ice Rink is a couple weeks away from being finished, thanks to the direction of Get-R-Done Contracting. A portion of the existing covered structure had been torn down and the concrete floor removed. New footings were then poured, and the main pipes installed. A new concrete floor was poured and new block walls went up in July. August saw the roof go on and the interior finished. There are still some hook-ups, paint (including murals), and a commemorative plaque to go but, it is almost finished! The building is planned to be in use for the ice rink for this winter.
Phase II, the spray park, is planned to start in 2015