Millions for Coquitlam parks in 2020

Twelve parks upgraded, more to come in next few years

Six southwest Coquitlam parks are set for upgrades next year.

City council decided Sept. 9 to consider a staff recommendation to add about $2 million to its 2020 capital budget for upgrades to Maquabeak, Mackin, Dacre, Nestor, Miller and Crane parks. 

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In the last three years, the city completed its first phase of a $2.5-million Park Blitz renovation program at 12 of Coquitlam's oldest parks — an average of $208,000 per project. Most of the improvements included new or expanded playgrounds and sport courts, landscaping, irrigation and more. 

The 2020 projects, however, are more elaborate and range in cost from $200,000 to $420,000. Kathleen Reinheimer, manager of parks, told council the parks in the worst state when the program was introduced in 2016 were the small projects.

Another program will see $1.56 million spent on replacing assets coming to the end of their useful life. Projects scheduled to be completed this year include: Eagle Ridge, Blue Mountain and Town Centre tennis courts; parking lots at Mundy and Como Lake parks; and playgrounds for Blue Jay and Noon's Creek. More than 20 parks are slated for upgrades by 2024, with 2020 improvements planned for Hickey (tennis and amenities); Durant (stairs); Mackin (park entry); and Town Centre (sports courts, irrigation and lighting) parks.

Reinheimer told council the city's recent decision to create an in-house, four-person construction crew for smaller projects like these has worked well. A press release said the crew has given the city "more control over project scheduling, greater efficiency and the flexibility to manage changes in scope and extra work without incurring extra costs and time associated with hiring external contractors."

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