Work expected to start next week on Bannerman Park facility
The ice trail planned for Bannerman Park, shown in this drawing, should be completed in time for use this winter, city officials say. — Illustration courtesy of the City of St. John’s
It’s almost summer in Newfoundland, but actress Mary Walsh is not raving about the sunshine.
She’s ecstatic about the transformation Bannerman Park is undergoing and is practically giddy with every new detail being worked on.
“I think it’s really great. People are very excited about the new things at Bannerman Park and one of the things they are most excited about, from what I hear anyway, is the new skating trail,” said Walsh, campaign chairwoman of the Bannerman Park Foundation.
“I saw the (ice trail) in Halifax and people use it like crazy. They’re really fond of it. And I can see from the Halifax oval people are really hungry for an outdoor skating rink and it will be well used. So it’s fantastic,” she said of the awarding of the tender for the park’s ice trail.
The master plan for the park’s revitalization has been ongoing for several years, but it’s only been in the past couple that a foundation has been put in place to fundraise for the project, and the past couple of months that construction work has been underway.
The plan includes an ice skating trail, a Victorian-style poolhouse, a garden of memories, a new playground and a new pavilion.
The latest piece of the overall plan is the awarding of the tender for the ice trail, which was done last week by city council to Redwood Construction Ltd. for $1,853,653.10 plus HST.
David Blackmore, the city’s director of building and property management, said the tender cost includes the construction of the trail, which will be 275 metres long and four to five metres wide, with a couple of inlets on the sides.
It also includes landscaping, lighting, a sound system and the mechanical equipment for keeping the surface cold.
“It’s moving along quite well,” said Blackmore. “Plans on the ice trail are finalized, the tender has been awarded and they anticipate work starting next week,” he told The Telegram Tuesday.
Blackmore said they’re just waiting on finalizing the contracts.
“We’re very anxious to get started. The plan is to have it up and running for this winter,” he said.
Blackmore said the total surface can accommodate up to 200 people and is designed for family and leisurely skating, not speed skating or scooting around with a hockey stick.
“This one is even better (than the Halifax oval) because it’s more of a trail and you’re not just going around in a circle or an oval,” said Walsh, who grew up in downtown St. John’s.
“This will take you through bits and bobs of the park and it’s like a figure 8 in my mind, so it will be fabulous.”
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