Input sought for Esquimalt spray park

The public is being asked for their input on the designs for a splash park in Esquimalt.

Illustrations of designs for the Esquimalt spray park.

There’s still a long road ahead before children in Esquimalt will have a splash park to play in during those long, hot summer days, but now the public is being asked for their input on the design.

The proposed “adventure park” will be located on about an acre of land on Fraser Street next to the Esquimalt Recreation Centre. The plan includes a play structure suitable for two to five-year-olds and another for five to 16-year-olds. There will also be a splash pad/water park, washroom/change room facility, picnic area and shaded zones.

After conversing with a number of playground suppliers, the township received designs for six concepts that are now displayed on its website for the public to vote on, and is also hosting a month-long open house at the rec centre.

The final landscape plan will be presented to council at the end of March.

“We’re hopeful that council is going to approve the budget at the end of March so everything is contingent on that. Right now, we’re still in the planning mode,” said Rick Daykin, manager of parks and facilities for Esquimalt.

According to Daykin, there has always been interest in a water park or more play spaces for children in the community, but it wasn’t until last May that officials sat down and started gathering concepts on what the park could look like.

Daykin doesn’t know when shovels will hit the ground, but once the project budget has been approved a tender will be released to solicit bids for construction, which is expected to take six to eight months.

He’s already excited to see the project taking shape.

“It’s going to substantially change the look of that area,” said Daykin. “I think it’s going to be the cat’s meow for them (kids). They are going to be loving this park. It’s going to be the best adventure park in Esquimalt.”

Although a cost has yet to be nailed down, the township is accepting donations for the project. Last week the Esquimalt Lions Club donated $50,000.

Public voting on a design for the project will take place until the end of February. Visit esquimalt.ca to view the designs.