Kin Kanyon plan includes new hall, rinks, spray park

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Kin Kanyon may see a new community hall, skating rinks, washrooms and a water spray park under a long-range plan to improve the Red Deer park’s use.

The park, one of the city’s more popular family gathering spaces for 50 years, has both challenges and opportunities according to a Kin Kanyon Concept Plan developed by ISL Engineering.

It has aging infrastructure, but also has capacity for enhanced recreation and leisure activities.

“There is a real opportunity to expand the level of use and enjoyment for families by providing additional and new facilities and amenities,” says the report.

The lower park of 30 acres is found directly east of 47th Avenue and between 33rd and 34th Streets while the upper 10-acre park is situated immediately north of 34th Street.

On Monday, city council supported the redevelopment plan with an estimated capital price tag of $5.4 million.

Only one improvement — building new washrooms in 2012 within a more convenient and safer part of the lower park — has been targeted within Red Deer’s 10-year capital plan that currently runs until 2020. The washrooms are budgeted at $484,000.

Other improvements to the lower area include a new trail from the road into the park, additional picnic sites, and constructing new bookable picnic areas to accommodate larger groups.

A large portion of the open space would be regraded in order to alleviate existing drainage issues.

The upper park is well used in the winter, with two outdoor rinks and the hall being used for the pond hockey program, but it’s not well used in the summer.

The report suggests getting rid of the South Hill Kinsmen Community Centre, built in 1940 and renovated in the 1960s, because it’s generally in poor condition.

A new community hall would be built farther east in the upper park and would accommodate up to 100 people, with change rooms for the skating rinks and spray park, plus a concession.

A parking lot of 63 stalls would be built.

One skating rink would be permanent with an asphalt base to allow for other sports like basketball.

The second rink could be used for winter only, with the option to take the boards down so it could be an open green space, which is what’s done with the existing two rinks.

Children would get to play at a large water/splash park of more than 25 interactive components, within the upper park near the proposed community centre.

It would replace the small “volcano” water feature found in the lower area and which requires regular maintenance.

The report also suggests adding a concrete walk adjacent to the road to connect to the lower site.

An outdoor wading pool and fountain spray park exists on the west end of Alexander Way, but is in no way similar to the large spray parks found elsewhere.

A boy recently wrote Mayor Morris Flewwelling, wondering why Blackfalds was able to have a spray park and Red Deer didn’t.

Councillor Cindy Jefferies said she would support the water park being built as part of the first phase, with the washrooms.

“We do hear a call in our community for a spray park facility and many communities around Central Alberta have built them,” said Jefferies.

Councillor Gail Parks said she’d like to see the washrooms built in 2011 because residents have expressed safety concerns about the existing building being hidden away in the forest.

Other council business Monday:

• council supports resolution that historically significant names get priority in determining future street names. Administration will write a new bylaw and policy to be approved by council later this year.

• council agreed to expropriation proceedings of land owned by Bucci Investment Corporation. The city wants to assume ownership of 1.56 acres for its North Highway Connector project. It will ultimately be a six-lane expressway linking Hwys 2, 2A and 11A west and north of the city to Hwy 11, east of the city.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com