4.3 million spent on renovations to Rochester Park
By Colten Kamlade, Staff reporter
Rochester Park, in Coquitlam, was recently renovated. Other Press reporter Colten Kamlade attended the grand opening of the renovated park on September 12.
The noise of the city seems to fade to a dull hum inside the park perimeters. In the forested ravine birds sing and water trickles downhill, while in the playground above children laugh and play. Moments before, ribbons were cut and speeches were made, signifying the grand opening of the newly renovated Rochester Park. Children from Maillard Middle School, Rochester Elementary, and the Traditional Learning Academy all attended the event, and from their excited squeals it seems to have been a success.
Andre Isakov, park planning and design manager for the City of Coquitlam, said he is also happy with the finished product. One of the most distinguishing features of the new park is the innovative playground, according to Isakov. Designed by a “consulting team with experience in landscape architecture, engineering, and architecture,” the wood log structure looks more like a tree fort than a playground. Other aspects of the park are also unique, he said, noting that the terraced fields—connected by a large slide—and the climbing wall are all unusual sights for a city park. Surrounding these oddities is more common playground fare; swings, a spray park, and even a small skate park.
During email correspondence with Isakov, he said that Rochester Park was chosen for renovation based on a review of “park service and amenity demands and needs” as well as “distribution of park services.” The project added “a zip-line, water play area, climbing wall, and a large slope slide.” Coquitlam does not intend to stop at Rochester Park, however, but “has an ongoing plan to develop new parks and renovate existing parks.”
Most of these parks are in Southwest Coquitlam. According to the Coquitlam Parks, Recreation, and Culture website, the program “will focus on twelve neighbourhood parks in the Burquitlam, Lougheed, and Central Coquitlam neighbourhoods.”
The renovation of Rochester Park seemed to be a success with parents and children alike, but it does come at a price. The cost of renovations totalled $4.3 million, according to Isakov. On top of that, he said, the budget for the grand opening was four thousand dollars, spent on “healthy snacks, entertainment, active games, face painting, [and] rentals of equipment.”