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Castlegar awards contract for castle playground

Castlegar city council has awarded an $827,000 contract to a Kelowna company to provide a castle play structure for Millennium Park.

At 12 meters tall, it’s to be billed as Canada’s tallest castle play structure, but city staff say they don’t know yet exactly where in the park the playground will be built.

It’s expected to take Parkworks Solutions Corp. about eight months to build and deliver the components. The company was chosen over Suttle Recreation based on several evaluation criteria.

While concerns have been expressed that the playground may go in an area home to camas, a plant with cultural significance to the Sinixt people, engineering manager Travis Christianson said they are waiting for several things before making a recommendation to council.

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That includes an archaeological assessment, consultation with Indigenous communities and other park users, and a study that will look at where the playground would fit best in relation to other amenities such as washrooms and pathways.

The playground is part of a larger project worth about $1.9 million, for which the city has received a grant worth over $1.1 million. Christianson said the rest of the funding will be spent installing the playground to meet safety standards, including a rubberized surface for it to sit on, as well as a pathway with benches and garbage cans.

While there was no disagreement on council about awarding the contract, councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff wondered how it could be made more accessible to kids with mobility challenges.

Christianson said the castle structure “inherently” doesn’t work well for accessibility on certain levels, but several accessible play features will be incorporated on the ground level. Additional “play nodes” could be added that focus on accessibility, he said.

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