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Demolition of St. Vital Park duck pond underway

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It’s a case of out with the old to make way for the new at St. Vital Park.

Demolition of the park’s duck pond shelter is now underway to make for a new pavilion, which was earmarked in the city’s capital budget, officials say. Construction on the pavilion is expected to start later this year and the upgrades will enhance the area’s year-round usability.

A wing concept was chosen as the winning design for the new pavilion, following a public open house in May 2012, from three shortlisted designs. The design will represent a bird’s wing in flight and a dynamic roof form will provide two distinct, covered picnic zones, each with a different view of the pond. The interior space will include built-in seating flanked by a fireplace and a new washroom area.

As well as the new pavilion, other upcoming projects at the park include the replacement of the summer washroom facilities and renovations to the boat launch, which will include riverbank stabilization, an improved dock and better lighting.

Earlier this year, Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) told The Lance the upgrades were much-needed because the ravages of time had caught up with the popular visitor spot.

"The (current) pavilion is close to 40 years old and it’s functional, but certainly not inviting and not great for wintertime. Hopefully the new facility will be something to last another 40 years, as it’s a well-used park and it’s the main building there," Mayes said at the time.

"And I know the washrooms are old because I used to use them when cross-country running in high school in the 1970s."

"For me, as for many families, the park has been enormously important, as I came here with my parents and now I’m bringing my eight-year-old son here," he added, noting some of the funding for the work was set aside in previous budgets and his predecessor, Gord Steeves, was committed to the park and worked to get some of the funding in place.

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