It was a little too windy to test out the new pickleball courts at Thornton Park in Ottawa on Wednesday afternoon, but the final pieces of the renovation are now installed, painted and ready to use, the city announced Wednesday with a press release.
Two pickleball courts, two tennis courts, two four-square courts and a basketball court with two adjustable-height hoops are the final pieces of the about $658,239 Thornton Park renovation.
This fenced in area accompanies new playground equipment, a splash pad, a shelter and many new benches and greenery. That greenery includes a pollinator garden complete with educational signage explaining the importance of pollinators like bees and butterflies to foliage.
Half of the original $558,239 cost of the project was covered by an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant and aided in developing the park, which was purchased in February 2015 from the Edmund B. Thornton Foundation. The city first asked for input from the community in July 2019 before applying for the grant.
As with most things in the months following the COVID-19 pandemic, material and labor costs drove the price up higher than originally planned. The city was able to cover the costs by diverting funds originally intended to go toward operating Riordan Pool, which is being demolished in order to build a new facility. This afforded the city an additional $100,000 for the project.
An important part of the park renovation to the city is to make sure the playground equipment is handicapped accessible: Ottawa Mayor Dan Aussem said back in May that the playground equipment was purchased with that in mind.
While the splash pad is closed for the season, the rest of the park is open and operational.