Major changes are coming to Minoru Park, Richmond’s major central park, to provide improved services for the community, including a new aquatic centre and new sports playing fields and other amenities. The various projects kick off next week with the beginning of new playing field construction.
“Minoru Park is at the heart of our community and as our central park is home to a wide variety of civic facilities, amenities, programs and events, as well as being a hugely popular place for informal gatherings, casual recreation activity and relaxation,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Minoru Park has evolved over the years to serve our changing community. This project represents an exciting first step in the park’s next evolution as we move to address current and emerging community need.”
The new concept plan for the sports fields will convert the existing Latrace baseball diamond into Richmond’s first all-weather artificial turf baseball/soccer field and will include a new multi-purpose artificial turf field in the north of the park. The cricket pitch and track and field throwing events will also be relocated. The new sports field configuration was developed in consultation with the Richmond Sports Council. Construction of the new playing fields is expected to be completed this fall.
One of two existing artificial turf fields in the park will be relocated to allow for construction of the new multi-purpose facility. Preload of that construction site will begin in June.
Two tennis courts at the Richmond Tennis Club will be relocated farther north in the park to accommodate the sports fields. City of Richmond staff have been working with the tennis club to minimize the impacts to its operations.
The plan includes expanded parking and pedestrian pathways in the park.
Some trails within the park will be temporarily closed and/or relocated to accommodate the work. A limited amount of tree removal will also occur within the park to accommodate the footprint of the new amenities. Where possible these trees will be relocated. Where trees are removed they will be replaced at a three to one ration in new landscaping.
The historic Minoru Pavilion will also be demolished later this summer to make way for the new multi-purpose facility.
The new multi-purpose facility is expected to be completed in 2017. Construction of the new No. 1 Fire Hall at Gilbert and Granville on the edge of the park, will take place concurrently. The projects are all part of a comprehensive $123.7 million major capital program approved last Year by Richmond City council, which will also see completion of a new City Centre Community Centre, now under construction. The projects are designed to replace inadequate facilities that no longer meet community need and provide for demand from current and future growth.
Image: Canuckle (Wikipedia)