A walk in the park, Beltline construction update

According to the City of Calgary’s Design Development Plan Summary Report, the Beltline area can soon expect a new park  the 1.04 acre park on 12 Avenue and 9 Street S.W.

The park will share a block with the old Carl Safran School and the new headquarters of the public school board, is set to open in the summer of 2013.

While construction is barely under way, the layout of the park has been well thought out.

Safety precautions have already been introduced to promote a secure atmosphere.

“One of the stakeholders was the Calgary Police Service, which really shows in the layout of the park,” said Corinna Baxter, of the Calgary City Parks department.

Baxter also explained that the design element avoided hidden nooks and crannies, included lots of lighting and focused on wide open spaces.

Many Calgary citizens walk regularly through the empty field as a short cut during their day.

Alpha Better Landscaping Incorporated has arranged for a curved walkway design throughout the park, still making the path easily accessible at night time.

An oval walkway will frame the park’s wide open lawn which is to be complete with a platform and paved area designed for outdoor recreational activities.

It is to be equipped for year round use, with a fire pit area, to keep users warm in winter, and plenty of trees bordering the lawn for shade during the summer months.

Noise was a major concern to prospective park users, and as a result of expressed concerns, noise buffers have been incorporated within the plan.

Trees and flower gardens will form a wall on the outer limits of the park to maximize their effectiveness to take in sound vibrations from the nearby traffic. Fountains with running water will also be included to help entrap street noise.

While construction was originally planned to begin last spring, progress on the development is slow but steady.

Work site fences were put up in August, and the removal of the grass took place shortly after that. Heavy machinery will not be on site until mid-October.

The park is currently on budget and will be costing Calgary just under $3 million to construct. Of that total, $370,000 is to be spent on the artwork that will define the urban edge of its location.

The city had been accepting portfolios from outdoor medium artists and closed the application deadline in mid-June. The company that was selected is Creative Machines from Tucson, Arizona.

Possible park names have yet to be determined.

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About Jessa Farmer 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Jessa Farmer worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.