There are a varying number of projects we work on each year in or around the Community Complex which are typically itemized annually over a rolling five-year period. These long term projections are not only updated yearly as we cross off completed tasks, but are well researched and presented to the Local Area Directors for approval as part of the annual budget. This process is mirrored in probably every municipality as they wrestle with budgets and having to decide how much to pave, which sewer lines to replace and where to extend sidewalks. These are scheduled projects and outside the scope of equipment blowing up, unforeseen failures or damage from forces we have no control over and many times are to proactively replace failing infrastructure.
So, if you and your umbrella happen to be walking around the Community Complex (I’m going to go out on a limb and say it will probably be raining when this column comes out), there are a few improvements you might notice around here. As you enter the grounds, take note of the new railing and exterior stairway at Rotacrest Hall that replaced the aging, quite wobbly wooden one that provided many years of service for the building. We also replaced the support posts for the deck as they were attempting to return to the soil as well.
Less familiar to probably many of you would be the replacement of the east stairway and railing from the upper parking lot beside the Thunder Cats change room to the lower parking lot thus foiling the original stairs attempt to take flight from the building in a southerly manner. We took that opportunity to improve a few drainage issues at the same time up top that proved timely as we entered the ark building weather we have had lately. You may have also noticed the timber remediation project around the south and west side of the building we have been immersed in this past month or so but hopefully will be completed by the time you read this. It will look basically the same but solves some degradation issues that were present.
The one that is near and dear to me this year would be the pathway that runs along the west side of the building; providing access from the back parking lot off Hillside Street around to our main entrance. Since we opened, there had been access however it was via a couple sets of stairs and slalom through some gravel which wasn’t the most encouraging if you had a walker or scooter. We (and I mean you) are now the proud owners of a concrete pathway from front to back, no stairs, no gravel; just a pleasant stroll that has cleverly incorporated both gradual incline and decline.
The pathway had always been part of the original design as well as being identified in the age-friendly study from years ago but was waylaid for a few seasons as other more pressing items took precedent. We still have a few railings and landscaping tweaks to do but other than that, it is fully functional. It is a testimony to the value of this feature when we see seniors as well as young ones appreciatively start using the path as soon as the barricades came down. Just as quickly, I realized my proposal of making it a toll path could have bearing on my life expectancy so next time you are here, take it for a spin, no strings attached.