Lansdowne sport fields suggested; Include soccer, ball facilities, residents tell consultants

Residents expressed concern Thursday that the design for a new urban park at Lansdowne does not include designated sporting areas such as soccer fields.

“We’re going to spend a lot of money, but we’re not going to have any soccer fields or baseball diamonds,” said resident Fraser Pollock.

“There are some practical elements that just aren’t there.”

About 25 people turned out for round two of public consultations being held for the urban park that will be part of the Lansdowne Park redevelopment.

Accompanying the park will be a refurbished Frank Clair Stadium and the development of 340,000 square feet of commercial space −being overseen through a public−private partnership between the city and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.

   
 

A group with Phillips Farevaag and Smallenberg (PFS) are in Ottawa this week to get public input on their proposed design plan. The Vancouver−based firm beat out four others shortlisted in the design competition for the public space.

“We’re trying to position this as a civic park for all of Ottawa,” said Marta Farevaag, a partner with the firm.

Farevaag said while the firm did not think the park would be the most appropriate place for such sporting structures, they were looking to get community input for the design.

“It’s not in the programming, but we’ll take it into consideration.”

She said placing temporary markers for goalposts in areas such as the Great Lawn −a space that could hold 10,000 −would be one option.

The urban space, which has a price tag of $35 million, would have 10 different elements including the Aberdeen Pavilion, the Horticulture Building, as well as a children’s garden, an outdoor curling rink and community gardens. The planned rink would be placed east of the Aberdeen Pavilion.

Several programming ideas for the space were also discussed. They included having the Ottawa Farmer’s Lansdowne sport fields suggested; Include soccer, ball facilities, residents tell consultants Market on site throughout the year, hosting the finish line for the Ottawa Marathon and holding Winterlude activities.

Farevaag said their intent is to create a multi−layered park, one that would not only attract people from the other side of the city but also bring in residents from the immediate neighbourhood on a regular basis.

The children’s garden and the daily farmer’s market are two of the elements targeting neighbourhood residents, she said.

A mesh screen that would contain a network of LED lights would also weave through the park. It would display various images based on events and have a theme of flowing water at other times.

The Horticulture Building would be home to studio space, a skate rental booth, a café and offices needed for park management, said Jeffrey Staates, a principal at the firm.

Meanwhile, a court challenge, launched by Friends of Lansdowne, is threatening to push back the start date for construction of the development.

“It really doesn’t affect us, we’ve been asked to proceed as best we can,” said Farevaag, adding that they are hoping to have the final design approved by a review panel in April.

The urban park is expected to be completed by 2015.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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