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Banff looking for design services for rec grounds redevelopment

Deadline for bids on Banff's recreation grounds redevelopment extended due to COVID-19
Rec Grounds plan_web
Banff recreation grounds redevelopment.

BANFF – The Town of Banff is seeking bids for a contractor to help design the next phases of the redevelopment plan for the recreation grounds. 

The municipality is looking for detailed design services from an accredited professional landscape architectural and civil engineering consultant to work on multiple projects, including the sports fields, off-leash dog park and fencing to keep elk away.

“The two primary aims of the recreation grounds redevelopment plan are to upgrade aging infrastructure and replace under-utilized summer recreation amenities with winter and year-round amenities,” said Amanda Arbuckle, the project leader for the recreation grounds redevelopment in the request for proposal (RFP) document.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the municipality extended the deadline for questions from March 23 until April 7. The RFP deadline now closes April 15, with plans to award the contract by April 17.

As the Banff townsite is limited to four square kilometres, Arbuckle said recreation facilities and fields must be well planned and able to accommodate flexible and diverse use types in all seasons.

In addition, she said the town has a unique demographical makeup, with 34 per cent of Banff’s total population made up of people born in another country and an average age of 35.

“Therefore, at the recreation grounds, there may be a difference in use – i.e. picnicking, large scale events and organized sports – unfamiliarity with some outdoor facilities and concern about recreating outdoors in a cold climate,” she said.

The 10-year recreation grounds redevelopment plan, which was approved in 2015, considers a skating rink, toboggan hill, nature interpretive cabin, multi-purpose building and more. 

Projects completed since 2015 include a skateboard park, second greenhouse, nature interpretive cabin, ball diamond fencing improvements, picnic shelter improvements and a small nature playground.

The successful contractor would work with the Town of Banff on projects at the sports field and ball diamonds, including removal of the cinder running track and expansion of the sports field to regulation size for rugby and soccer. 

Other projects include removal of an existing ball diamond to make way for a one-acre dog park, rerouting and paving of the north multi-use gravel trail that links Sundance Road and Birch Avenue as well as a new horse trail from Sundance Road to Birch Avenue near the multi-use pathway that runs alongside Cave Avenue.

In addition, the asphalt on the basketball court will be replaced with a tiled sport court system and two small picnic areas will be built – one near the ball diamonds and the other on the east side of the sports field.

Part of the plan includes fencing the perimeter of the rec grounds to deter elk from accessing large open grassy areas of the sports field and ball diamonds, and to reduce the potential for elk getting their antlers tangled up in playgrounds.

Projects that are scheduled from 2021-25, but are outside of the scope of this upcoming design work, include the multi-purpose building, maintenance yard and shop, canoe landing, children’s bike skills loop and adventure-nature playground. 

“Proponents should be aware that use of the site is expected to increase in the pending years with the establishment of a new pedestrian bridge that will link Central Park and the recreation grounds,” Arbuckle said.

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