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Message from the President
Update October 17, 2018
Many of you have been commenting about the much anticipated accessible playground which had construction start on September 10 with a completion set for mid-October. Mother Nature, mostly, and some manufacturing gremlins have now had an impact on what were the best of plans and intentions.
The project was initiated based upon delivery timelines of the equipment by the manufacturer Jambette and their representative in Calgary, Vilmac Systems. Based upon a delivery date, that we received when the order was placed and our deposit paid, the City of Calgary began the sub-surface preparation in anticipation of delivery of the equipment for the last week of September. With the weather that we experienced through the last part of September and early part of October, it became clear that this project would not be concluded this year. In the interim the City of Calgary did a lot of the preparation work to add in the appropriate drainage and now has fenced the site off, leaving the climbing structure accessible through the winter.
Mother Nature dealt us a cruel blow. The Pour in Place (PIP) rubberized surface needs to be installed above freezing temperatures and with the early low temperatures and snow it meant that the weather conditions were not suitable for the installation of the PIP. With Safety being the biggest concern it is important that the PIP is installed properly and within installation specifications from the manufacturer. Additionally the City of Calgary, and we understand and agree, is not willing to have any equipment installed if there is not a “fall surface” in place even if the site is fenced off. If the PIP is installed when the weather is too cold, the safety benefits of the product are called into question and the product may not live up to the intended lifespan, which means a potential increase in cost to replace the PIP further down the road.
So the sad news, and we are sorry that this is the case, is that we will not see the playground completed until Spring of 2019. We know that this is frustrating and apologize, we know that the new playground equipment will be highly used once the project is complete.
The City of Calgary and MTC asks that if you see anyone inside the fenced off area to call 311 or the Towne Hall.
Update September 11, 2018
Dear residents, the forecasted drop in temperatures has resulted in the closure of the Splash Park for this year. Thank you for a wonderful inaugural opening and we will reopen next year when the warm weather returns.
Update September 10, 2018
We have had an incredible summer and the use of Prestwick Common and the Canada 150 Splash Park has exceeded our expectations. Sadly, there is a point in time where we have to look at winterizing this amenity. Our Board approved policy is, “The fountain will be winterized at the point where the daily high temperature of 15 degrees has not been achieved for three consecutive days after Labour day.” This was determined to be the best way of looking at keeping Prestwick Common and Canada 150 Splash Park open for as long as possible into September. We have had a long spring and summer with it opening up on May 8, a full month ahead of similar amenities throughout the City. Our diligent staff will be monitoring the weather reports and will be winterizing the park once this threshold has been met. We need to be able to ensure the asset is protected against freeze/thaw damage. We will post the shut down on the website once this occurs, please understand we enjoy seeing the amenity operational as much as you enjoy using it. The City of Calgary workout equipment will still be in place until September 29.
Update September 10, 2018
The city of Calgary has commenced work at Prestwick Common to start removing the pea gravel and preparing the site for the new pour n’ play surface. We will continue to update our residents as new information becomes available. Thank you
Update September 5, 2018
This summer has been an exciting and busy time for MTC! Prestwick Common and Canada 150 Splashpark has become a central hub in our community, filled with families enjoying the new Spray Park and other amenities.
As part of the project MTC had originally hoped to remove the pea gravel in the playground and replace it with a pour in place rubberized fall surface as well as adding new accessible playground equipment. Currently, the pea gravel poses a great challenge to anyone with mobility issues and has the potential to cause damage to the water park equipment. Unfortunately when we obtained estimates in excess of $190k for this sort of additional work we realized that this could not be funded and set about planning for the future.
However, early in June we were notified by the City of Calgary that as a result of all the investment MTC had put into Prestwick Common they were prepared to replace the pea gravel and put in a new rubberized surface. This came as great news to us which meant an opportunity could be realized by partnering with the City to add in accessible playground equipment at the same time, something that we had approved in budget back in 2017.
Starting mid-September, the City of Calgary will be fencing off the playground site, removing the gravel and preparing the site for additional climbing structures, swings and accessible playground equipment. The existing climbing structure will remain. The last week of September, Vilmac Systems and their crew will be installing the new playground equipment by adding a new play structure that has greater accessibility and exciting new features! After that work is done, the new rubberized surface will be installed. The playground should be re-opened the early part of October. Again, all of these timelines are weather dependent. The work is being undertaken by the City of Calgary and outside the project control of MTC.
We understand the last thing anyone wants this year is more construction and more closures. During this period, the spray park and its features will not be affected. This work is separate from the complex features of our water park, and we do not expect any conflicts. This work is vital to the mandate of McKenzie Towne Council which is to foster inclusivity and accessibility. Please follow us on social media or check our website (www.mtcouncil.com) for specific dates and additional updates. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Rob Van Gastel, President, McKenzie Towne Council: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support in making McKenzie Towne even better, for everyone!
Update July 21, 2018
The second phase of the work undertaken by the City of Calgary and their contractor, Nucor, has been completed. Prestwick Common Fountain and the Canada 150 Splash Park is open today.
There will still be fencing around the construction site likely until the end of next week. This will allow Nucor to complete the backfill of the excavation which is phase 3.
Once Nucor is off the site, the landscaping and maintenance team from MTC will install a picnic table and sod for the area. At that point the fencing will come down and people can enjoy the view from the new ‘grassy knoll’.
We appreciate your patience over the past few days while the splash park was not operational. It has been frustrating but in the end doing the work properly ensures longevity to the capital investment.
Update July 18, 2018
Update July 17, 2018
Update July 17, 2018
Many of you may have noticed that an excavator has now been placed within a fenced off area at Prestwick Common, just north of the basketball court. We have been waiting since the beginning of June for work to begin on a water shut-off valve that was found to be leaking after the irrigation system was repaired following the construction of the splash park. This water shut-off valve is part of the main water supply to Prestwick Common which includes both the building, fountain and splash park. The contractor, Nucor Systems Inc. (Nucor), has been hired by the City of Calgary to undertake this repair and advises that the main water supply will need to be shut off in order to complete the repair work. We have worked with Nucor Systems Inc. to minimize the impact to the splash park by requesting a staged approach to the repair. The repairs will be undertaken in 3 phases starting July 17; excavation and exposure of the valve, water supply turned off and valve repaired with water supply restored, and finally the excavation back-filled. In speaking with Nucor, they anticipate the water will only be turned off for a 5 hour period, but this is predicated on timing related to having City of Calgary Water Services attend and turn off the water supply in the road.
These repairs are totally outside the control of McKenzie Towne Council and the timing of them is based upon the contract between Nucor and the City of Calgary. We recognize that this work is starting on the hottest days we have seen so far this summer. However, because of Alberta Health Service Regulations, we are not allowed to operate the splash park when the water is turned off. The washrooms to the building will also be locked during the same period. We will continue to work with Nucor to minimize the interruption to the enjoyment of the splash park and will have it operational the minute we are able to conform to Alberta Health Service Regulations. We will post any updates or changes to the schedule on the MTC website.
During this construction period, we ask members to be patient and also respect the fencing that has been installed to keep everyone safe. Please keep out of the area. The site inside the fence will be under the control of Nucor’s Service Manager, Alex Biro, who can be contacted at 403-369-5348 if anyone notices a hazard related to the repairs.
Once Nucor has completed their scope of work, the landscaping staff from MTC will be hard at work installing a new picnic table and sod in the area that is currently bare dirt. This will complete the look of Prestwick Common and the Canada 150 Splash Park.
Also, stay tuned for an exciting announcement related to Prestwick Common in the coming week!
Update June 20, 2018
The Splash Park at Prestwick Common was turned off on Tuesday June 19 late in the afternoon because of an issue with the pumping system resulting in numerous error codes. Our manufacturer and supplier of the system, Waterplay, was contacted but was unable to provide assistance in determining the issue with the system until today. It turns out that an actuator, a component of the system that turns on features has shorted out for some unknown reason. We have been able to troubleshoot down to the specific component and have now de-activated this actuator allowing the park to operate normally. The safety controls of this high-tech system mean that when a failure occurs in a component, even a small one, the system goes into a state of shutdown to ensure that no damage occurs to the equipment. This is a means of protecting the MTC investment in the system. We are not sure why the now identified component failed, but will be working with Waterplay in the coming days to figure out why it happened and make the necessary repairs. We appreciate your understanding in that these breakdowns seem to occur when a large number of people are waiting to use the Splashpark. The park is intended to be operational and these minor inconveniences are just part of the growing pains for the system. The frustration experienced by the users is also felt and experienced by members of the Board of Directors.
Update June 4, 2018
Please be advised that fencing will be on site for hydro seeding and landscape maintenance for areas heavily damaged by construction. The fencing will be removed once work is completed.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.
Update: May 29, 2018
The splash park will be closed this afternoon to address needed maintenance and repairs, we are sorry for the inconvenience. Our vendor Waterplay will be on site on Wednesday May 30th to make the necessary changes and repairs to ensure that the park is operating to design specifications. We will continue to update you as the information becomes available.
Update: May 27, 2018
Since the “soft opening”, hundreds of people each day have had the opportunity to enjoy the waterpark. In these last few weeks we have been working with the vendor of the water park system, Waterplay Inc. from Kelowna to address a number of technical issues that we have noted in the complex system. The water park is not just a pump pushing water out to those spray features and fountain. It consists of multiple computers, sensors and valves that need to be calibrated and maximized for efficiency and your fun. Sadly, today some of the components did not perform to design specifications and despite the best efforts of MTC staff, we were not able to have the splash park function properly. Given this equipment malfunction, we placed a call into the manufacturer for support and are awaiting a response. Unfortunately they are not able to do anything for us this weekend and we will need to wait early into the week to see what they can do to effect the necessary changes and repairs. Although we could possibly operate at a minimum capacity, the potential risk of damaging expensive equipment means we have to be careful about our desire to allow residents the opportunity to have fun in the splash park whilst at the same time ensuring our investment does not get damaged due to our resident’s demands to have it operational.
The question then remains, what to expect in the coming weeks prior to our official opening on Neighbor Day? There will be some intermittent closures to allow the site contractor, GLVT, the ability to fix concrete and install the remaining feature that is currently fenced off. We will work with Waterplay to address the concerns raised with respect to the treatment system and pumps. The fencing for the irrigation work will be removed early next week and then seeding and sod will be done to reclaim the areas damaged due to construction. We understand your frustrations because this park has been a long time coming from both a planning, construction and volunteer effort. We share the same level of frustration. It will be a short while more while we work out the kinks in the system so please just bear with us. If the response to the soft opening is any indication of the future of the splash park and fountain, we will have an amenity to enjoy for many, many years to come.
Updated May 18, 2018
Prestwick Common will have construction fencing put up for the safety of all park users starting on Monday May 21st. We will be working on the irrigation of the park so we can water the green spaces. This work should be completed next week and fencing will be removed at that time. The splash park and fountain will remain operational throughout this construction.
Thank you in advance for understanding and patience.
Updated: May 9, 2018
After a long cold and snow filled winter it appears that spring has finally arrived. After a delay due to the fact there was still ice and snow at Prestwick Common, the good weather the last few weeks has allowed us to get started on the final steps for the project.
GLVT, Total Electric, and Waterplay have been on site getting our system operational and doing the fine tuning of the software for the pump systems and spray features. We have been running various components of the system and each test brings out many residents who appear to be anticipating the opening of the spray park. Prior to turning on the system and allowing the public to come into contact with the water, Alberta Health Services needed to approve the system and our operation. Following an inspection on May 8th, we received approval of the splash park from a health perspective. This final gateway has allowed us to turn the park on for public use, in accordance with our operational policies.
Unfortunately, one spray park feature called “Bubble Trouble” is missing the plastic domes so this feature is surrounded by safety fencing as it is non-functional. We are waiting shipment of the parts and they are expected to arrive by the end of the month. Once we have received them, they will be installed to make this fun toy operational. All of the other toys are now functional and some of you may have noticed the fountain running on Thursday evening. There will be some fine tuning to the height and spray patterns as the month progresses.
You will also see some workers present in the next month working on the irrigation system and the dead grass in the north end of the park. We will be getting this work completed as quickly as possible.
I am happy to say, the long wait is over and the splash park is now running with testing and fine tuning to occur. Please bear with us as we work through the inevitable growing pains during these next few weeks.
We are happy that you are able to enjoy the park as it has been a long time coming. The fountain will run from 0800-2200h daily and the splash park will be operational from 0900-2100h.
Updated: December 19, 2017
Season’s Greetings to All,
On February 18, 2017 a ground breaking ceremony was held to officially start the construction phase of what has been a multi-year dream and project for McKenzie Towne Council. This project, the Prestwick Common – Canada 150 Splash Park, would not be complete without hundreds of hours of volunteer time contributed by members of the Board as well as staff time by your MTC employees. The remainder of the project team consisted of Vanderzalm and Associates (architecture and engineering), coupled with GLV Travellers Inc (GLVT - waterpark contractor and fountain contractor), and Eagle Builders (Eagle – building construction) who did the building construction. For funding we have but to thank the Government of Canada – Western Economic Diversification for the Canada 150 Grant as well as the Alberta Government – Community Facility Enhancement Program. The City of Calgary has been a fantastic partner in that they have allowed for us to improve a City park for the enjoyment of not only our residents and members but the citizens of Calgary.
It is only fitting that 10 months ago the site was officially placed “under construction” for what would become a fantastic year round amenity. We turned sod in the snow and here we are opening the park officially December 20, 2017, after yet more snow has fallen. The primary funding for this project was for the repair and replacement of the fountain and firepit feature. In order to accomplish this task, a new building housing the most up to date water treatment system had to be built and the needs of our members realized with the addition of washrooms and a community space facility that will support events and programs being held in Prestwick Common. Just last week we obtained the “occupancy permit” for the site which resulted in us being able to remove all of the fencing. With the weather finally turning colder, just a few days ago the ice surface was flooded making sure that we were ready for the grand opening. Our Christmas lights were installed and have been running since November, and I am sure you would agree that Prestwick Common is now something quite picturesque.
It has been a long road and path this past 10 months. We have faced many challenges and hurdles as what one would expect with a major project. Through team work, your patience and support, we are now able to say Prestwick Common is officially open. Of course, we are not able to enjoy our spray park and fountain, but don’t despair, this spring these will be turned on for your enjoyment. The washrooms will be open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm each day which coincides with the hours of operation for the Towne Hall. Our staff will be able to monitor the video cameras at the park from the Towne Hall for your security and the safety of our members. If for some reason you see something that needs addressed please call the Towne Hall at 403-781-6612.
Thank you for your patience this year. We trust that you will find this amenity to be something to be proud of and enjoyed.
Letter of Greeting
Updated: December 19, 2017
Prestwick Common will be re-opening on December 20th! This project couldn't have been done without the support of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. Read the Honourable Kent Hehr's, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Greeting Letter here.
Updated: November 15, 2017
The Prestwick Common Project is moving along at a quick pace with a significant number of accomplishments since the last update. As we near the finish line it is important not to forget what has taken place over the last few months to get us to the point we are at today. Have a look at the photos published on the website to see the transformation of the park from what it was a few months ago to where we are at today.
Our many trades and subtrades, as well as the McKenzie Towne Maintenance Team have been working very hard to finish the building so we can open the park. We are at times stressed for space because of all the people working inside the building. You may have noticed that the construction trailer as well as all of the commercial garbage bins have been removed with the park cleaned up in anticipation of occupancy.
Currently we are getting very close to the completion of the project with a number of milestones having been reached. There are a few outstanding items for the splash park such as: installing the water treatment system, bubble trouble, and tap and tunes. The water treatment system will be completed next week with the remainder being done in the spring since we require good weather to test out the system and bolt in a couple of play features. In the interests of project timelines, a decision was made to not fill the spray park system with water for testing, only to blow it out and winterize it. This way we will start up fresh in the spring and this testing can be done early on before the really warm weather hits us where the splash park will be needed.
In the park area, the gas lines and the firepits are all installed and will be operationally tested in the next few days. Outside of the building all of the electrical work has been completed including the power for the trees and around the fountain. This has allowed us to have the Christmas lights as well as the lights around the fountain to be turned on without the park being opened for use. All of the concrete work and landscaping around the building has also been completed with the basketball hoop being installed and ready for use even during Chinooks. We have installed a number of benches around the park as well as attached to the building. Calgary Parks has provided us with more garbage and recycling bins. Through our cooperation and funding from Calgary Parks, more picnic tables and some bike racks will be purchased to add to the area. These will be installed by the end of December.
You may have noticed that we have put up some snow fence around the splash pad area. The intent of this fencing is to indicate to our younger members that this area is off limits during the winter months. We do not intend to clean the snow from the area as a further means of discouraging activity in this area when the spray park is not operational.
The exterior of the building is complete with the exception of the window into the community space. This window sits behind a security roll-up shutter that ensures our building is always secure and less prone to vandalism. Inside, electricians, sheet metal workers, and plumbers are working extremely long days getting the complex mechanical systems ready. We anticipate by the end of the week all of these systems will be operational and ready for final inspections.
Our security contractor, over the coming days, will be installing the alarm systems which will monitored for not only break and enters but fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide. As part of an overall security plan, 8 cameras will be installed at the end of the week which we will be able to control or monitor remotely. The cameras being utilized are capable of both day and night recording giving our staff the ability to monitor the building 24/7.
If you didn’t already know, our building has been built with energy efficiency in mind. To reduce paper, our washrooms will not have paper towels, but instead hand dryers. The lighting is all LED and will come on by motion or on photosensors. Speaking of the washrooms, they will be open to the public but locked up each night. One of the unique features of these washrooms is that a light will be on outside to indicate someone is inside. This feature will allow our staff and visitors to Prestwick Common to know that the washroom is occupied.
Many questions have been asked about when will the site fencing be removed. We are working with the City of Calgary to make sure all of the necessary approvals are in place to open the site up for occupancy. There were many conditions associated with the Development Permit and they all need to be addressed in order for a Completion Permit to be provided. Once that has been obtained, the necessary inspections required of the Building Permit perspective need to occur in order to allow for the building to be occupied or used by the public. Inspections for such things as framing, plumbing and electrical are normal, but we also need Calgary Fire as well as Alberta Health Services to provide their acceptance of the finished construction.
Of course after occupancy has been granted, we will be working with our contractors to ensure any and all deficiencies that have been identified are addressed and remediated before signing off on the project. Spring 2018 will see us testing the splash park toys as well as repairing the irrigation system, which could not be undertaken in the fall with all the heavy equipment on site. Sod and turf repairs will also be done in the spring once we know what grass didn’t make it over the winter.
With our ground breaking occurring this past spring, we had snow on the ground as we launched the project into the construction phase. It seems appropriate that our current plan is to have the Grand Opening on December 20th from 4:30pm to 7:00pm, where once again snow will be on the ground. For this opening, we will be having skating, music, and food as we officially open and dedicate Prestwick Common for all the residents of McKenzie Towne. Hopefully you will all be able to make it and celebrate with us the opening of Prestwick Common – Canada 150 Park.
Updated: October 10, 2017
The snow last Monday didn’t help the schedule but our team of contractors continued along as the soil dried up. As the snow started to fall, the team from GLVT was hard at work installing the spray park features.
The transformer that Enmax put in 2 weeks ago had to be raised higher, and with that work going on we were able to take advantage of the equipment being on site and the power being turned off to get the main electrical service run to the building.
The days leading up to October 10 saw a lot of activity related to landscaping. The attached pictures represent the fantastic achievements of Sheldon Kingcott and his maintenance team over at Prestwick Common. These pictures reflect the confidence the Board has in our team to properly landscape the site as opposed to paying someone else to do the work.
What you see below is the shrub material that has been planted above the seating area along the toboggan hill. The dirt above the shrubs has been seeded. Between the two concrete walls is the newly sodded area that leads out onto the splash pad. The rock feature beside the splash pad is our effort to save 2 trees that were slated for being cut down and through cooperation with our splash park contractor and landscape architect, we have avoided the need to destroy these mature trees.
This upcoming week will see more effort go into the fountain area with concrete being poured for the fountain and fire pit bases. Inside the building, concrete will be poured for the floors with insulation and drywall and painting of the exterior scheduled to be complete next week. Soffit, eavestrough, doors and windows will go in as well over the next 7 days.
Once the floors are poured, and the drywall installed, we will then see the pumping system for the water park moved into the building. These pump systems are mounted on skids and come pre-fabricated by the manufacturer to ensure quality craftsmanship and seamless integration of complex systems.
By the end of next week, there will be concrete poured around the exterior of the building that includes the area up to the fountain and the new basketball court on the north side of the building.
If you haven’t taken the opportunity to see for yourself all of the great work that has been going on, please stop by Prestwick Common and have a look through the fence. The crews are always happy to answer questions that you may have.
Did you know that the walls for the new building are just under 8 inches thick? The walls are precast concrete with 2 inch styrofoam sandwiched between 2 - 3 inch layers of concrete. The other day when the temperature was about 22 degrees, and the sun was heating the outside of the wall, the inside of the wall was cool. The design of these walls ensures that we have a durable thermal barrier that allows the building to be very efficient.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Updated: September 29, 2017
As we move into the last couple of days of September a lot has been accomplished on Prestwick Common.
Despite the accidental strike of the main gas supply due to an improper line locate we have made significant headway.
Below ground we have installed the gas lines out to the 4 fire pits and connected all the water feature lines back into the building. All the underground electrical conduit has been installed. The backfill of the excavation for the building brought us up to the height needed to pour concrete. Most of the conduit is installed for the new electrical service to the building. ENMAX was on site this week putting in the new transformer. Irrigation system rough ins have been completed that will allow us the ability to do that work next year.
Above ground, the splash pad has been completely poured making it ready for the play equipment to be mounted. On the building all the lines have been run for the security system and cameras which will be used to monitor the site. Inspections will be taking place next week on framing and electrical.
For next week, more activity will be noticed around the fountain as it will be backfilled and prepped for concrete that will be poured just after Thanksgiving. The fire pits have been ordered and we are awaiting the concrete in the fountain to be set in place before those structures are mounted. The new center fountain will be placed this upcoming week as well. Additional prep work will occur to get the large concrete pour done for the basketball court and walkways around the building. Inside the building, although not able to be seen, the plumbers will be getting the drains ready for the concrete floor to be poured. We expect the floors to be finished by Friday.
Make sure you take the chance to come and take a look at the progress we make. Don't forget to have a look at the drone video that one of the sub trades put together to showcase the splash pad.
Updated: September 27, 2017
On Wednesday September 27 while digging in an electrical line one of the contractors struck a gas line that had not been located properly. No one was hurt and work was held up for an hour until the line could get repaired.
Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing email@example.com
Updated: September 25, 2017
Over the past few weeks the Board has been answering questions about Prestwick Common. For this update we would like to provide answers to those questions as well as the usual status update.
The Prestwick Common revitalization is our largest endeavor since the construction of the Towne Hall in early 2000. A need arose to modernize this amenity. The fountain originally intended as a decorative feature became used by our residents as a wading pool. This then changed the designation from a fountain to a “swimming pool” as instructed by Alberta Health. With this change in design use, we were required to add chlorination systems to the water pumping and filtration systems in the building over 7 years ago.
Unfortunately, the small building was never intended to be used as a swimming pool pump house. The use of these chemicals over time degraded the mechanical systems and structure in the old building requiring us to replace and rebuild. Additionally, the drainage in the park meant that all the water run-off from the grass, which included fecal matter, was draining into the fountain water the kids were using. Also, these slope conditions on the fountain pad meant it was very difficult for our staff to maintain ice throughout the winter for skating. These conditions meant that the Board needed to do something.
Given that turning off the fountain would never be an option, the Board set out in 2015 to secure funding as part of the Canada 150 grants offered by the Government of Canada. From our project plan, MTC was successful in obtaining a $215k grant. This then became the foundation from which the revitalization project took shape. Now that a concept had been decided upon by the Board, the proposal was brought up at the 2015 AGM. Members present wholeheartedly agreed with the scope of the project and the Board continued on. Information sessions were held at the Towne Hall and the project scope published on our website.
Through 2016, a sub-committee of the Board considered various options for the project and construction; such as standard framing with brick exterior or even pre-cast concrete was taken into consideration. Given the public access to the building, a decision was made to make the building very durable and go with pre-cast concrete construction. This meant that MTC would be able to effect the necessary elevation changes to the fountain, add an amenity the splash park, as well as construct a resilient building to house the necessary equipment. Given the frequent use of Prestwick Common for outdoor events, the decision was made to include a “community space” where we could prepare and stage our events. Resident surveys conducted in 2016 dictated a need for washrooms as part of the revitalization and as part of our development submission we asked to have them accessible only to members, however, the City mandated that they be open to the public.
Through 2016, a sub-committee of staff and Board members worked on requirements for the project. The same sub-committee set upon research into vendors and other like projects in order to establish project scope and what we could do or not do. In order to proceed, a Development Permit was required to be obtained from the City of Calgary. In September, the Development Permit application was submitted for approval.
For budgetary purposes, cost estimates were obtained from vendors. At a December 2016 Board meeting the budget for the project was approved. Vendors for the project were selected: Eagle Builders (building), GLVT (spray park), Waterplay (spray park systems), Van der Zalm and associates (waterpark design), Site Lines (architecture) to name but a few. An additional grant was applied for from the Province by the Board and we were notified of the awarded amount of $125000 in Spring 2017.
As part of the Development Permit application we held meetings with City staff to understand the policies to which we would need to follow. Following the submission of the necessary paperwork by the sub-committee, a conditional development approval was provided in January of 2017. Prior to final release of the Development Permit, a number of conditions had to be met, such as: parking and traffic study, Erosion and Sediment Control plans, Tree Protection plans , Development Site Servicing and Fire Protection/Access plans.
Unlike getting a building permit for a garage or a renovation at your home, these conditions required additional substantial work by our engineers and architects to provide the necessary documentation to the City to get the “release” of the Development Permit. Documentation that we had in fact submitted as part of the original process, but which was removed, unknown to us, by the City during their review because it didn’t fit into their normal workflows.
The City was treating this project much like a major commercial development as they had never undertaken work with a Resident Association for something of this nature nor did the City understand the constraints of the grants received. Although our procurement process for builders and vendors, which included posting tenders, had been completed we were now held up with administrative processes with the City condition approvals. Because of the challenges imposed by the City, we reached out to Councilor Keating for help in navigating the murky waters that we now faced. With his help, and the Director of planning, the waters were calmed such that the engineers and architects for many weeks went back and forth over technical sub-surface engineering aspects. Ultimately the conditions were all met and the Development Permit could be released. This then meant that a few days later, in late May, we obtained our building permit. However, we were now significantly behind in our aggressive timelines to open the park for the summer.
Although some site preparation was done such as the demolition of the old building and the fountain leading up to June, we were held up with the need to install an 18000 litre water tank 5 metres below ground. This tank would be the reservoir for the fountain and spray park. Unfortunately, because of the custom nature of this tank and associated fittings, it could not be ordered until the City approved the engineering. Once the approvals were obtained it would take another 6-8 weeks to get the tank on site and installed, a component not communicated by the vendor. Because of the tank proximity to the walls of the building, our building contractor then advised us that they would not install the building as planned until the tank was buried. This meant that work on the building would not start until mid-August, 2 months beyond our timelines.
Recognizing that we would not open the water park for the Summer, arrangements were made with the New Brighton Resident’s Association for our members to use their water park in exchange for their members gaining access to our gym at “resident rates”. This cooperative relationship has proved to be a huge success.
Through the summer additional challenges were faced with the construction which included incorrect engineering documents from the City on the water and sewer services as compared to the “as-built” services. This meant that we had to re-involve the engineers and have a re-submission done to reflect the current conditions, something we would never have known until deep excavations had occurred.
Once construction commenced it may have looked like not much was going on for weeks at a time, this was due to the significant sub-surface work being undertaken in order to make this project a success. We have seen 100 truckloads of dirt removed from the site, 1 km of water pipe and an 18000 litre water tank installed, 150 metres of sewer line, 300 metres of gas line. In the last week of September we will see more than 1000 square metres of concrete poured in the park.
As you saw in late August, we had to close down Prestwick Boulevard in order to hoist in the concrete wall panels for the building. The design of these panels is such that a design very similar to the columns is incorporated into the exterior surface, an option the Board chose to undertake to ensure the building fit in with it’s surroundings. The less expensive alternative, would have been to see smooth wall panels, a very industrial look we did not want.
Because of the electrical demands of the new pumping systems, our under capacity electrical service needed to be upgraded which meant having Enmax install a new transformer, this work will be done the last days of September. ATCO gas has been onsite to install new gas lines. Because the park doesn’t currently have telephone/cable, Shaw Cable has agreed to provide service to our new building for free which means the entire park will become a Shaw Hot Spot.
With the funding from the Province and the Government of Canada we are able to undertake the necessary work as well as add a splash park for future enjoyment of all resident members. The complex revitalization will mean that we will be up to current standards for many years to come, with the benefit of having new amenities to enjoy.
In the coming week you will see the splash park concrete pour complete as well as work on the fountain. Our new design for the fountain means that there will now be the main center fountain with mini water sprays out from the center. In the winter, we have moved to a much more economical means of running the fire pits, which means that the fire pits will be turned on by a user and run off of a timer, something that we could not have done before. There will now be 4 fire pits, a center and three external ones to allow for greater access.
This project has many moving parts and dependencies. If one dependency is missed, delays occur down the entire project timeline. In order to save costs our volunteer Board has been managing the project, which using conservative construction budgeting means a savings of over $75k having to pay for this type of work. The Board appreciates your patience and understanding as we bring this project to a successful conclusion. We may not have been able to open the water park this year, the skating rink will most definitely be used this winter. Next summer all of our members will be able to enjoy the water features you have been anticipating for so long.
Updated: September 5, 2017
Prestwick Common work is progressing along at a quick pace. With two different contractors on site, one for the waterpark and the other doing the building, work is now proceeding with changes happening daily.
The contractor on the building has been doing the rough-in for electrical and plumbing now that the walls have been installed. They were waiting on inspections for this work earlier in the week. The framers will be on site and the plan is to have the roof completed by Friday, which will allow for the closing in of the building to allow the other trades to start their work. The complex plumbing for the splash park requires a lot of detailed work to be undertaken in the mechanical room. Once the floor has been poured, the pumping systems for the splash park will be able to be installed.
The splash park contractor is currently finishing up their sub surface work on the splash pad which is just north of the fountain. The surface and plumbing preparation for this piece of the project requires good weather, and fortunately we are getting that to support the pouring and finishing of the concrete which will start September 18. Shortly after, you will then get to see the Waterplay structures installed to get an appreciation of some of the above ground water features provided for the park. There are also many ground level spray features. The pouring of concrete will also occur for the fountain in the same time frame.
You may have noticed that the signs we had around the park have come down. That was due to vandalism that occurred over the long weekend. We will not be putting them back up, so we encourage our members to keep visiting this page to keep up to date with the progress of the project.
Updated: September 1, 2017
Prestwick Common has made immense steps towards completion but unfortunately there is some more work left to do and it will not be completed by the end of the summer. We are looking to have it complete by mid- October 2017, with exciting new features for all seasons and for the entire family to enjoy. Stay tuned for more construction updates by visiting our website.
Thank you for your continued patience.
Updated: August 25, 2017
Significant progress has been made on the Prestwick Common Revitilization project in the past few days. Thanks go out to the residents of Prestwick Boulevard who have lived with the inconvenience of a parking ban and the remainder of Prestwick residents who endured some inconvenience on their drive into work and home on Thursday August 24. Today we have completed the installation of the walls of the pre-cast building. The road closure and parking ban was necessary in order to lift these extremely heavy panels into place.
Over the past couple of months, a lot of work that has gone on has been below the surface, and not really noticeable unless you walked over to the fence and looked into the site. The progress of the project is moving along quite quickly with the underground work being mostly completed for the fountain, deep storage tank and the building. In the coming days the sub-surface work will occur for the splash pad.
In order to save costs, our very own McKenzie Towne landscaping team is prepping the area around the hill for the planting of shrubs and grass.
With the walls for the building now installed, next week you will see the roof go on and be able to appreciate the effort that has gone into the design to ensure that the building fits in with the park. You may notice that the look of the stone pillars are replicated in the wall panels for the building. Next week, you may notice the beautiful wood beams installed that form part of the canopy extending on the west side of the building.
Although the area around the fountain has currently a large excavation, which is necessary to install the natural gas lines for the fire pits and the multiple water jets, work will be completed soon so that you can have an idea of what this will look like. The fountain is and will be a focal point of the revitalization.
So, again thanks to everyone for their patience as we work to improve and revitalize Prestwick Common.
Updated: July 23, 2017
The Prestwick Common Revitilization project continues to move ahead. With some weather related delays and others associated with engineering permits, resident’s will now start to see significant visible changes on the site occur in the next few weeks. We have completed the construction of the retaining walls, which now allows for the excavation of the footprint of the splash park. The toboggan hill needed to be cut back in order for the splash park to fit between the playground and the fountain. In the coming weeks, significant underground work will be undertaken to allow the installation of water and sewer lines as well as the holding tank for the splash park system. Once this work is completed, the installation of the mechanical building and washrooms will occur in late August. We anticipate having a confirmed date for completion calculated in the first few weeks of August. Although we have had a hot summer, a significant downpour affects all of the deep excavation work that we are currently undertaking on the site and requires us to stop and allow things to dry up. Once this underground work is done, weather will not be as big of a factor, until we start to pour concrete. Stay tuned for our next update.
Updated: July 16, 2017
There were minor delays due to the rain but the site was dry enough to complete work on the final wall and its reinforcements, wall excavations, and new walls were poured as well as the complete dismantle of the previous wall.
The construction team also removed eighteen tandem loads of excavated material removed from the site.
Updated: July 4, 2017
We have a construction update:
All the final reinforcement and verification, retaining wall footings is poured and old footing removed, retaining wall rebar is cut and installed and reinforcement wailers are constructed and completed. The retaining wall forming is cut to size and is 80% complete. Other retaining wall construction is at 50% complete. And site wide clean up, house-keeping, and fence lines are secured and all fully completed.
Updated: June 20, 2017
McKenzie Towne Council has successfully applied for and received $125,000 in additional grant funding through the Government of Alberta's Community Facility Enhancement Program.
The Council's application proposed to rehabilitate and renovate Prestwick Common which includes upgrades to the fountain and seasonal amenities such as the splash park for the summer and an ice rink with fire pits for the winter months. The Council plans to build washrooms onsite - it is an important addition for the residents of McKenzie Towne. These will be open year-round and maintained and locked nightly by Council staff.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Honourable Premier Rachel Notley, MLA Ric McIver and the Alberta Government for making improvements and upgrades to our community possible.
Read about the Grant Approval Letter here.
Updated: June 14, 2017
We are happy to share an update on the construction of Prestwick Common. We experienced some delays from the City of Calgary, but we were able to meet their requirements and have been given the permissions to resume construction. As of today, all the demolition work, removal of the old building, excavation and tree protection has been completed. We have the same desire for the park to be open and enjoyed by all, so we will do everything we can to get this completed as soon as possible.
We thank you for your continued support and patience. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have about the project. We will keep you posted on any further updates.
Updated: May 25, 2017
A couple pictures of the current state of the construction process.
Updated: May 11, 2017
The old fountain has been removed and the new one will be put in with the new splash park equipment.
Demolition is completed
Updated: April 26, 2017
Demolition of the existing building has been completed; work on site will continue as permitted. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Fencing at Prestwick Common
Updated: March 15, 2017
Installation of construction fencing around the entire Prestwick Common park site will begin as of Thursday, March 16th. The City of Calgary has mandated that for safety and security reasons the fencing will remain onsite until the project is completed, meaning that the park will be closed to the public during this time.
Construction will begin the week of March 20th, 2017.
Letter of Greeting
Updated: February 24, 2017
Although the Honourable Navdeep Bain, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development could not attend McKenzie Towne Council's ground breaking ceremony, Western Economic Development Canada (WD) shared this letter of greeting in support of the project. McKenzie Towne Council received funding for the project through WD's Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.
Groundbreaking ceremony kicks off construction announcement
Updated: February 21, 2017
On Saturday, February 18, 2017 McKenzie Towne Council hosted a groundbreaking ceremony and community event at Prestwick Common to kick off the much anticipated construction of the Prestwick Common Revitalization Project. The ceremony was lead by Rob Van Gastel, President of McKenzie Towne Council. Joining him with words of support were Stephanie Kusie - past President of the McKenzie Towne Community Association, Rick McIver - MLA for Calgary Hays, and Shane Keating - Councillor for Ward 12. Also in attendance were members of McKenzie Towne Council's Board of Directors and many excited residents and families.
The event featured skating, music and hot dogs. Coffee and hot chocolate was kindly donated by McKenzie Towne Tim Horton's.
Construction will begin in early March. Fencing will be placed around the entire park area of Prestwick Common. The Project is planned to be completed and open for July 1, 2017 on Canada Day for a grand opening celebration.
Photo: Left to right - Rob Van Gastel President - McKenzie Towne Council, Shane Keating - Councillor for Ward 12, Rick McIver - MLA for Calgary Hays, and Stephanie Kusie - past president of the McKenzie Towne Community Association.
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: February 13, 2017
What is the Prestwick Common Revitalization Project?
Due to aging infrastructure and its imminent replacement, coupled with the opportunity to apply for a Federal development grant, the decision has been made to revitalize the Prestwick Common amenity. The goal is to install splash park spray structures, create a more level winter skating surface and build onsite washrooms. And, along with funding from the Federal Government, transform Prestwick Common into a multi-generational landmark amenity that commemorates the 150 anniversary of the Confederation of Canada and McKenzie Towne Council's 20th anniversary (1995 - 2015). Please read previous posts below to learn more about the project.
When will construction begin and end?
The anticipated beginning of construction will be March 2017. The anticipated opening date will be July 1, 2017, to celebrate Canada Day.
What is the name of the new park?
“Anniversary Park”. The name was arrived at because the park will be commemorating Canada’s 150th, as well as McKenzie Towne Council’s 20th anniversaries!
How much will the project cost?
The approximate cost is $1.7 million.
Will Annual Fees go up due to this project?
No. Annual Fees will not increase because of this project and its costs.
What is the grant funding from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CCIP)?
The CCIP is part of Canada 150 Celebrates, the Government of Canada's celebration of our country's 150th anniversary. Through investments in community infrastructure, the Government of Canada will invest in projects that celebrate our shared heritage, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.
Under the theme Giving back to Canada: shaping the future, leaving a lasting legacy and giving a gift to Canada, the CCIP will invest $150 million over two years to support projects that rehabilitate existing community facilities across Canada. These projects will ensure a lasting legacy as a result of Canada 150 and strengthen communities from coast to coast to coast.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), on behalf of the Government of Canada, will deliver the CCIP in Western Canada. WD will invest in projects that rehabilitate or improve cultural and community infrastructure, which will help communities realize long-term growth and vibrancy in the years to come.
What age groups will the revitalized park serve?
Ages 1 – 99.
Why can’t the park be fenced?
The Common cannot be fenced for two reasons:
Development Permit Conditionally Approved
Updated: January 18, 2017
Another step closer to breaking ground! McKenzie Towne Council's Development Permit was conditionally approved by the City of Calgary. MTC is working to establish a construction timeline and have it publicly as soon as possible.
Development Permit Drawings received by MTC
Updated: November 23, 2016
McKenzie Towne Council is excited to present our Development Permit Drawings for the Prestwick Common Project. Currently, the drawings are in the circulation stage among City business units and the McKenzie Towne Community Association. MTC aims to break ground in February 2017, complete construction in June 2017 and host a grand opening on Canada Day, July 1, 2017.
Town Hall meeting results & project next steps
Updated: February 1, 2016
McKenzie Towne Council hosted two open houses and had very low attendance. Attendees expressed minimal opinions regarding plans to revitalize Prestwick Common. However, the greatest concern that was brought to our attention was parking availability around the Common.
Next steps: The Board of Directors has approved to proceed to develop an architectural plan for the potential splash park area that would incorporate an upgraded fountain feature, improved fire pit - followed by an RFP process for a building that will house mechanical and chemical rooms, washrooms and a multi-use space.
Submit Project Feedback
Leading up to the Town Hall meetings regarding Anniversary Park at Prestwick Common, McKenzie Towne Council welcomes your feedback and thoughts about the project. Please read all of the posts below before submitting your feedback. Your submissions well help MTC with keep resident interests in mind and providing appropriate information about the project to keep everyone on the same page.
Town Hall Meetings
McKenzie Towne Council's Prestwick Common Committee will be hosting to Town Hall meetings at McKenzie Towne Hall in December. All McKenzie Towne Residents are invited to attend to share their thoughts and ideas, as well as to learn about plans and progress and have questions answered. These meeting will be an open discussion forum to maintain awareness from both Board member and resident perspectives.
Sunday, December 13th from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday, December 14th from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
An Overview on the Prestwick Common Revitalization Project
Brookfield Developers built McKenzie Towne as an open and publicly accessible community. Whereas developers of other communities with resident associations built fenced-in amenities, enabling controlled access. This makes McKenzie Towne unique in that residents can enjoy the community’s amenities without limitation to their friends and families, and allows all Calgarians to visit and enjoy this wonderful community, too.
Prestwick Common was due – based on its amenity life cycle analysis – for redevelopment in 3-5 years from now. It is currently an aesthetically pleasing fountain used as a splash park in the summer, and a skating rink with fire pit in the winter.
Upon discovery of the Government of Canada’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, McKenzie Towne Council (MTC) saw an opportunity to revitalize the Common, turn it into a landmark destination and save on redevelopment costs. The revitalized landmark will celebrate and commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation in 2017 for future generations of the community.
The approved federal funding allows MTC to proceed with redevelopment fountain/splash park sooner than projected. McKenzie Towne Council must still contribute money (alongside federal funding) to revitalize the publicly used amenity, owned by MTC, on City of Calgary property.
McKenzie Towne Council identified two areas of improvement with the Prestwick Common revitalization project:
1. Converting the fountain area into a more age appropriate and interactive splash park, as well as an easier to flood ice surface in the winter. The fountain/fire pit will remain as a feature in Prestwick Common.
2. The addition of washrooms – we receive constant feedback from users that washrooms would drastically improve enjoyment of the site, while adding some much needed convenience.
The Board and staff of MTC have been fiscally responsible for over a decade and Annual Fees will not increase because of this new project. In fact, McKenzie Towne Council is now debt free, twelve years ahead of schedule! Annual Fees go towards recreation programming and event support at the Towne Hall, year-round maintenance of 14 amenities, enhanced grounds keeping throughout the community and much more.
McKenzie Towne Council is proud to have the ability to take on this project, for the benefit of McKenzie Towne’s residents, in a fiscally responsible manor while improving a major amenity that will have a long lasting and historical imprint within the community.
McKenzie Towne Council welcomes feedback. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Announcement: Funding for the Prestwick Common Revitalization Project
September 2, 2015
McKenzie Towne Council has successfully applied for and received $215,000 in grant funding through the Government of Canada's - Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.
The Council's application proposed to rehabilitate and renovate the existing the fountain area of Prestwick Common into a family friendly splash park area with features for toddlers to teens. The project will also keep the ability to turn the Common into a pleasure rink in the winter, with a new and better graded surface that will be easier to flood and maintain ice. Additionally, Council plans to build washrooms onsite - it is important to the residents of McKenzie Towne, as well as all users of the Common.
Council is excited to be able to pursue a project that will benefit the community's residents and improve a site that has long needed some additional amenities and revitalization. While many of the project details need to be worked out, it is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016 and be completed by the fall of 2017.
The announcement of approved funding was made on July 30th by Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre - North. $1.8 million was announced for 17 projects benefiting Calgary under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.
"The 150th anniversary of Confederation is a great opportunity to celebrate Canada's rich history and heritage, and to look forward to its promising future. By supporting community associations across the West through the Canada 150 Infrastructure Program, we are helping all Canadians celebrate this important milestone while leaving a lasting legacy of improved local infrastructure." - The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre - North.
McKenzie Towne residents that wish to be involved in the project are welcome to email the President of McKenzie Towne Council: email@example.com