Township interested in teaming up with Lions Club, school board for track and field site in Beaverton park

Township council has expressed an interest in working with the Beaverton Lions Club and Durham District School Board to build a track and field site at the King Street Park.

At Monday (April 15) night’s meeting, members of council passed a motion directing staff to work on a possible agreement between the three parties regarding redevelopment of the park.

Last month, members of council turned down a request from an architect for the development of a temporary parking lot at the park during construction of a new public school.

The village’s two schools – Beaverton and Thorah Central – will be consolidated and closed following construction of the new facility, which is expected to open in September of 2020.

“As you may know, Beaverton Public School will remain in operation during the construction of the new school. In order to allow the school to operate during construction, there is a need to maximize the available site space to school staff and students. The temporary lot would provide parking for construction staff during construction of the school and then would provide parking for School Staff while the site work is completed,” the letter from Robert Ferkul of Moffatt and Duncan Architects Inc. reads.

The proposal would have included placing 30 centimetres of gravel (nearly one foot) over a section of grass, as well as the existing tennis courts.

But a letter from the Lions Club that was included on the agenda for Monday’s meeting asks council to reconsider.

“It is the Beaverton Lions Club’s proposal to create a new track and field space that both the new Beaverton school and the extended community at large would benefit from. Given that the track and field build is likely to infringe on the current location of the tennis courts and playground equipment, and that Moffet & Duncan’s request to temporarily use the King Street Park during construction of the school would also impact the park, we are requesting that a co-operative effort be explored. it is our understanding that Moffet & Duncan Architects may be open to relocating/rebuilding the playground and tennis courts as part of their agreement to use the park area for parking during construction,” the letter from the Lions reads.

“As this relocation/rebuild would also be necessary for the installation of a track and field, we feel there could be a mutually beneficial opportunity that warrants further discussion and investigation whereby Moffet & Duncan relocate/rebuild the playground and tennis court in a new location to facilitate construction of the school, thus allowing the Lions Club to focus funds solely on the build of a new community track and field project.”

Noting that the potential project would have a “significant impact” on the park, Regional Councillor Ted Smith asked whether public input should be sought.

Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden said it was certainly a possibility depending on where the conversations lead, noting that a preliminary meeting between the three parties went well.

“The school board is wholeheartedly in support,” she said.

Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble said she was happy to bring forward the motion.

“This is a great opportunity to work together and do what’s best for our residents.”

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