The District is investigating improvement and re-design options for Centennial Square.

What are we doing?

In 2019 Sparwood initiated a project plan to revitalize Centennial Square.  The initiative has three distinct phases:

  1. Consult with the community to understand what Sparwood residents envision for the future of Centennial Square;
  2. Develop a concept plan and check back with residents to see if it meets their expectations and vision; and,
  3. Undertake the redevelopment of the Centennial Square.

This past fall we met with the community and developed a guidance document for a landscape architect to create two concepts plans.  During this initial consultation process nearly 200 people came out and provided input on what they would like to see if Sparwood redeveloped Centennial Square.  What we heard was that the majority of residents wanted to see a usable event space, that was attractive and inviting to spend time in.  We also heard that it was very important to respect the existing mining epitaph although it need not be the central point in the design. 

From the guidance document two concept plans were developed. A preferred plan was further refined through discussions with Sparwood staff and the design company.  The plan was submitted to Council on December 17, 2019 for consideration and is now available to residents to review and provide feedback.  The Concept Plan has several components including creating connectivity to Aspen Drive, by improving the Red Cedar Drive and the Lane that connects Centennial Square Drive to Spruce Avenue and Aspen Drive; enhancing Centennial Square Drive; and redesigning Centennial Square.  Below is an overview of these three areas.

  • Streetscape Improvements (Centennial Street)

    Enhancements along Centennial Street would include widening of the sidewalks in front of businesses to create a comfortable walking path with a treed buffer between the road and pedestrians. This would also provide the potential for sidewalk patios for businesses. This includes narrowing the road and removing parking on the plaza side of the roadway while retaining parking on the other side, beside the businesses. Continuing to have parking is important for business access and convenience. The increased width of the walkway will significantly enhance the experience of pedestrians as they visit local businesses in the area.

  • Pedestrian improvements (Red Cedar and the Lane way)

    This would improve the connection between Aspen Drive and Centennial Square by increasing the pedestrian friendliness of the areas. It would include widening of the sidewalks, adding trees and general enhancements to the pedestrian areas to make it more inviting to walk between these important commercial areas.

  • Centennial Square

    The proposed design for Centennial Square, has many features with the goal of making the space a central hub of the community that is used year-round.  The goal of the design is to make an attractive, inviting space for both events and just to visit, relax and enjoy being in Sparwood.  The design keeps the two pine trees which we decorate for Christmas each year, adds in birch trees all of which are housed in raised permanent planters with informal seating.  Movable bistro style tables are placed between the trees.  In the middle of the square is an interactive water feature that sprays water upwards which kids of all ages can enjoy.  A central natural gas fire pit with benches allows residents to visit and stay warm.  The entire square is lit with ambient lighting that will create an inviting space in the evenings.  The Coal Miners Monument has been carefully placed towards the south end of the square.  A tower landmark has been placed at the north east corner of the square which can be seen from Aspen Drive to attract people to Centennial Square.

    As part of the Concept Plan there is an option to include a winter skating rink that would encompass the central square area, inside the light grey area as seen on page eight of the Plan.  The skating rink would allow residents to skate in an around the trees and make this space a true year-round destination that would attract residents and visitors. 

    Surrounding the square is enhanced sidewalks, the addition of trees and lighting, a basketball court at the west end and an area for a stage.  The entire area can be closed off to traffic for events using removable bollards.  When events are not taking place vehicles will continue to be able to access the area.  Parking spots will continue to be present along the north side of the square.  

  • Municipal Hall

    We also took an opportunity to develop an enhancement plan for the Municipal Office.  The proposed Concept Plan ensures that the Municipal Office design integrates with Centennial Square while addressing some safety issues with the existing parking area and access design.  The proposal replaces the entrance stairs, orientates the ramp to meet current accessibility standards and is no longer exiting directly onto a road.  Landscaping has also been included to beautify the entire area.

  • Our Next Steps

    Our next step is to bring this Concept Plan back to the community for feedback.  We want to know if we have it right and that your input from the initial consultation work is represented in the Concept Plan.  It will also be very import for us to gather input on the cost of this project.  Currently the estimates for the project are $1.3 million for the square without an ice rink or $2.8 million with an ice rink.  For the street enhancements we have an early estimate of an additional $1.7 million.  We’ll be presenting this project, in its entirety to the community in early February and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on the revitalization of Centennial Square.   

Some examples of communities that have revitalized their main streets include Revelstoke, Kimberley and Rossland.  Visit their websites to see what some of the possibilities can look like.

Why are we doing this now?

Centennial Square is the traditional commercial core of Sparwood. While much of the commercial activity has shifted to Aspen Drive, Centennial Square still provides the best pedestrian-scale and community-oriented commercial area in Sparwood. Grants are available to support this type of investment in community infrastructure and economic development.

This project aligns with Council's Strategic Priorities.

When is it happening?

This project has four main phases:

  • Phase 1: Conceptual Design (August 2019 - March 2020)

    This phase was supported by the Columbia Basin Trust in the amount of $9,840 through the Trust's Community Outdoor Revitalization grant program.

    The District investigated options for redesigning the space to ensure it could be utilized in a way that was best for the community. Input received from residents during the event was summarized and provided to landscape architects who then used the information to create conceptual options that will be released later this summer.

    • A drop-in event with a free barbeque was hosted in Centennial Square on August 6 from 3-8 p.m. to gather public input on Centennial Square.
    • Input from the event was provided to a landscape architect to create two concept options for an improved Centennial Square.
    • The District received a grant of $9840 from the Columbia Basin Trust to support the concept design of this project.
    • The concept plan will be presented to the public for further input in February 2020.

    The preferred option was presented to Council on December 17, 2019 and staff was directed to apply for the Community Outdoor Revitalization Capital Grant in an amount of $500,000 and obtain additional feedback from the public on the Concept Plan.

    Once feedback has been collected from residents on the concept plans the District will finalize the Centennial Square Redevelopment plan.  These plans will be presented to Council for consideration.  Provided the plans are approved and funding is available the District will move into the detailed design phase of the project which can be used to apply for future grants to help fund the project.

  • Phase 2: Detailed Design (2020 – 2021)

    To be determined

  • Phase 3: Construction

    To be determined

  • Phase 4: Operation

    To be determined

Centennial Square Through the Years

This slideshow shows images of Centennial Square in the past, as well as conceptual plans that were developed through the years.

 

Centennial Square Event Poster

We are looking forward to your feedback! Please take the quick, eight question survey to share your thoughts on the Centennial Square Revitalization Concept Plan.

Please double click to enter your content here.

Tips:
Press Shift+Enter to type on the next line.
Press Enter to type a new paragraph.