Revitalization Project - Eagle Bay Hall Outdoor Area
The Board of Directors received an update in October from the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) regarding our revitalization project and the outdoor area. The good news is that we do have a final plan for the Park: EBCA PARK PLAN. Requests from our district survey, focus groups, and from the Board have been addressed. The facilities and equipment that will be available speak to the resurgence of outdoor fitness, children's play areas, sports events and, of course, community gatherings for celebrations, cookouts, and events such as summer music and theatre productions.
Tenders for the demolition of the current facilities in the park may not be finalized until the spring. The CSRD wishes to engage bidders without restricting them to this fall for the work. It means that demolition may not take place until the spring. Construction should follow on the heels of the demolition. Tenders for construction go out in the spring and we are hopeful that the process is not delayed. The Board is committed to keeping everyone updated.
Those of you who have recently passed by the hall will also have noticed that an area beside the bottle recycling depot has been cleared to make way for storage for outdoor activities. Directors agreed at the October meeting that safe storage for outdoor tables, grills and propane tanks, chairs, sports equipment, and other equipment is needed, so that full use of the park is supported. This past summer a grant from the CSRD made it possible for the Board to purchase outdoor sound equipment. At the July outdoor Annual General Meeting, the sound equipment was tested. We were pleased to see that we now have the capacity for holding outdoor events that everyone can hear and enjoy.
The Board has also begun to explore how we might update the exterior of the hall as well as upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms. COVID-19 requires that we take a careful look at community needs and interests in having indoor venues. Developing a strategic plan for the organization as well as expanding programs and activities will require ongoing discussions. Over time, the Board wishes to understand what the possibilities might be.
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) will be going forward with demolition of the outbuildings and tennis court (aka hockey arena, basketball court) surrounding the community hall this month. Fall clean-up saw the grills go into safe storage until the revitalization project is complete, sometime next spring/summer. It is exciting to think of how the new spaces will be supported through community events and groups. There has been discussion around a pickle ball league and, of course, outdoor adult fitness classes. Playgrounds will offer the community children's playgroup opportunities to spend significant time outdoors as well.
The community focus group and gardening club played a role throughout the planning and design phases of the project. While maintenance of the park will be the responsibility of the CSRD, there has been significant thought given to green spaces, vegetation, and the overall visual and physical quality of the area. Ideas abound regarding new groups and activities that will be welcome there. Shifting our focus to outdoor as well as indoor activities is timely and directors look to the community for their input in what changes will support community interests.
Good news on the Revitalization front, the Right of Way has been signed by the Eagle Bay Community Association and the CSRD with the hope that demolition of the outdoor area will begin this fall. More information will be available at the AGM. Final designs for the area continue to be discussed and construction is being planned for the spring.
As many of you will know, the Eagle Bay Community Association (EBCA) has been working with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) and our community to revitalize the community hall outdoor area. Surveys of our residents, conducted last year, as well as information sessions and focus groups have provided critical information for the design and development of the area.
We are close to finalizing our community input, along with input from the Parks Advisory, and will be conducting the last of the focus sessions in December 2019 along with design architects, our Area Director, and the Parks Planning Team from the CSRD.
The outdoor area design coming out of the December meeting will allow for budgets to be drawn up and submitted to CSRD Directors for their approval in March 2020. Paul Demenok, our Area C Director, has been critical in setting the stage and supporting our efforts. Once approval is granted, the project is contemplated to be developed in 2 phases.
Phase 1 will begin in the fall of 2020 with the excavation of the outdoor area, the demolition of the current tennis/basketball court, the playground area, and some outbuildings. This demolition will not include the bottle recycling shed. The recycling shed is not included in the CSRD Right-of-Way agreement. Throughout the construction we want to ensure that our community will continue to support our recycling work. Also, the timing of Phase 1 will not disrupt Eagle Bay Day celebration. This coming year, 2020, marks the 70th anniversary of Eagle Bay Day and we are moving ahead with our plans to celebrate with the Eagle Bay community, past and present.
Phase 2 of the project will begin in the spring of 2021. We are looking forward to the development of pickle ball court, a fully updated children's playground, new picnic facilities, an adult fitness area, outdoor toilets, and more.
The Eagle Bay Community Association (EBCA) has been working with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) and the community at large to revitalize the community hall grounds to address the changing needs and interests of Eagle Bay residents and visitors. On October 25, the public was invited to share their questions, concerns, and ideas regarding the landscaping and design of the outdoor area surrounding the Eagle Bay Community Hall. The meeting was well attended. Paul Demenok, Area C Director, and Ryan Nitchie from CSRD Community Services, were also present.
Updates were provided regarding the status of the project. A Right-of-Way agreement is being negotiated, with hopes to have both parties sign off by spring of 2019. The Board of the CSRD would then be able to bring forward budget issues for project approval. In the interim, community focus groups will be meeting with the Parks Planning Department to prepare design and landscaping for the area.
Early in October an online survey was sent to EBCA members to solicit their input into what is possible considering the space and budget available. Over 50 responses were received and tabulated.
Results from the survey showed that the Eagle Bay community services a variety of age groups. While seniors (65 and over) were the largest identified group, youth under 19 were identified as the second largest group.
The survey provided a list of possible outdoor features, as well as an open-ended response for further suggestions. Within the list features, a multi-sport area including tennis, pickleball, ball hockey and basketball tied with a children's playground as a first priority. A covered picnic/cooking area, drinking fountain, several grassy areas with picnic tables, and an adult exercise ground were second. An outdoor bandstand and pickleball courts were selected as third choices. There were other suggestions as well, such as fencing in the parking area, a ropes course, an open area for recreational activities, and an artificial skating rink. It is also noted in the survey that features such as outdoor toilets and security lighting will be provided in any design selected. While expanded parking facilities were also identified as a priority, presently there is no additional parking space available.
The EBCA wants to thank everyone who participated in the survey or joined in at the public consultation meeting. Many in the community have expressed their interest in participating in future activities. Revitalizing the outdoor area around the Hall certainly offers one way of making a community safe and caring.