Nearly 25 years after a Rutledge Park project was sidelined due to budget shortfalls, shovels hit the dirt Thursday to signal that renewal is now underway.
The official ground-breaking kicked off a project that is expected to breathe new life into the park in the 900-block of Cloverdale Avenue. It is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
“It is exciting to see construction underway for these long-awaited improvements at Rutledge Park,” said Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock.
Designed by Vancouver based landscape architecture firm VDZ+A Consulting, which won the $1.45-million contract to tackle the renewal of Rutledge Park, the upgrades include a new washroom building, modern playground equipment, and a long-awaited splash pad.
The existing playground equipment will be replaced with designs that incorporate nature play and natural elements.
The seasonal splash pad will have inclusive elements for children and youth of all abilities. There will also be new paved pathways, park furniture and a drinking fountain.
The province led the way with funding for the project with $535,342, with Ottawa kicking in $370,650, Saanich contributing $329,508.
The idea behind the renewal and a splash pad goes back to 1998. The Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association requested Saanich reconsider the splash pad again in 2015.