After just over a year of serious planning, a time-frame has been set to begin construction on the Farwell Splash Park.
Chair of the Farwell Splash Park Society Pat Mckee says construction on the splash park will begin in early spring 2019, with hopes of the park being open later in the season.
Previous expectations of the project had slotted the time-frame to be around three to five years, though Mckee says generous donations and grants have pushed the project forward.
“When you start, you have no idea how long it’s going to take,” says Mckee. “I think we have surprised everybody with our success.”
“It’s like anticipating Christmas morning. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Build time after the beginning of construction, according to Mckee, will be roughly six to eight weeks.
While the project has been in the works for around four years, serious consideration and action has occurred just over the past year, with Mckee coming on board in March 2017.
According to Mckee, nearly $600,000 of funds have been raised towards construction of the project, nearing it’s total budget of $653,000.
While contributions from the Columbia Basin Trust, Revelstoke Forest Corporation Legacy Fund, Revelstoke Credit Union and CSRD Economic Opportunity Fund have made up a sizable chunk of the funds, Mckee says community donations have been important to the project as well.
“The smaller ones are so valuable to us because when you write a grant, they want to know your community supports you,” says Mckee. “So when you have a lot of names with small donations, those are absolutely gold to us.”
Though the society considered beginning the project in the fall of this year, Mckee says the decision to push until next year was based on benefits of extended planning over the preceding months, opportunity to buy fixtures in the off-season and longer prep time for the site.
“We didn’t want to plunk a brand new fixture, in the fall, in a park that wasn’t ready. It didn’t really make sense,” says Mckee. “It made more sense to decide to start in the spring.”
The Farwell Splash Park will be located at the end of 1st Street, in place of the wading pool which closed in 2013. Mckee says preparations for installation have begun in the park, giving the location a number of renovations.
“The park needs a refurbishing, and the city’s going to do that. They’re going to fix up the washrooms and they’re going to make the site look a lot nicer, and we’ve got some volunteers set up for that,” says Mckee.
In addition to above ground construction, a large amount of funds will be going towards construction of an on-site filtration and re-circulation plant to abide by water conservation bylaws and the Columbia Basin Trust’s “Water Smart” imitative.
Fundraising for the Farwell Splash Park will continue throughout the rest of summer and into fall and winter. Donations are accepted for the project at city hall, where an income tax receipt will be available, or at the Revelstoke Credit Union.