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Park opens, arena closes

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Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) is shown with Brittany King and her daughters Lola and Roxie during the Transcona Splash Park opening on June 28.

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Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) is shown with Brittany King and her daughters Lola and Roxie during the Transcona Splash Park opening on June 28. Photo Store

The week the Transcona Aquatic Park had sprayed its first refreshing drops, its neighbour took its first steps toward being torn down.

The $800,000 park opened on at the corner of Kildare Avenue and Wabasha Street on June 28 with multiple spray features and a picnic area. The subdivision and rezoning of the Roland Michener Arena site right next door, which passed at a special meeting of East Kildonan-Transcona Community Committee on June 25 and then went through the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Property, and Development on July 2, will fund further park expansion.

Meeting minutes note no one registered in oppostion or for information at either meeting.
The motion still needs to pass Executive Policy Committee and Council.

Once completed in 2015, the site will have an expanded splash pad, a new pool with beach entry, waterslides, diving boards, and a lazy river. The city has set aside $3 million to complete the $5.5 million project, and Wyatt said the rest will be made up with the sale of the arena land and through corporate sponsorships.

"Folks are excited for the future plans of the Transcona Aquatic Park," Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt said. "We’re hopeful we can stay on track."

Staying on track ahead of the August prorogation was the reason Wyatt cited for holding the special meeting of community committee to get the process started. He said the special meeting was planned in late May, knowing in advance the plan wouldn’t be ready for the June 18 meeting, but it had to get in before the July meeting.

"You have to work backward from the 2015 date, basically," Wyatt said. "Everything has to get to council in July."

When the site is sold, a report will have to go to council, which Wyatt hopes will happen by October. Once the funding is in place, the city will seek proposals to further develop the aquatic park. Once completely developed, the site will lose the Transcona Stadium ball diamond, as there is a hardball site that has been built at Buhler Park, though it will retain a diamond for kids nine-and-under.

With the Roland Michener Arena closing, programming will be transferred to the East End Arena, which will have a third rink open in Fall 2014.

Wyatt also noted that a YM/YWCA facility, which had been talked about for the Michener site, is now considering the announced Park City Plaza development as a landing spot in the community.


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