Williams Lake's director of community services Geoff Paynton and City Coun. Laurie Walters are asking the public to be patient as construction is underway to replace the main parking lot at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Williams Lake's director of community services Geoff Paynton and City Coun. Laurie Walters are asking the public to be patient as construction is underway to replace the main parking lot at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Public asked to be patient during complex parking lot reconstruction

Short pain for long-term gain as parking lot reconstruction is underway at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Short pain for long-term gain.

That is how the city’s director of community services Geoff Paynton is hoping the public will react to the full parking lot restoration underway at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex in Williams Lake.

“It’s going to get worse here for the next two weeks,” Paynton said Friday. “It is inconvenient and we know it is.”

While one of the brand new parking lots is now completed and open to the public, crews and heavy equipment are completely overhauling the former parking lot.

Drain lines, catch basins, even crushed rock that was in bad shape, are all being replaced because the old parking lot had so many issues with bad drainage.

Temporary fencing on the park side of the parking lot will be pushed out even further next week and people will have to either walk in the park or the back parking lot to access the complex.

Five parking spaces are available for people with physical disabilities near the picnic shelter in Boitanio Park, but other than that during the week work days all of the other parking on that side is reserved and paid for.

“Most people are understanding,” Paynton said of the inconvenience. “We’ve been asked if we can let people access the building through the back doors, but with the ice in the arenas now we cannot do that because the ice will melt.”

The Gibraltar Room entrance isn’t an option either because often it is rented out for events, he said.

A new four-way stop at Proctor Street and Fifth Avenue has been in place for a few weeks and is where drivers enter to use the new parking lot.

Once the main parking lot is completed, it will also only be accessible from  the four-way stop.

When asked why the parking spaces in the new lot are sloped on an angle, Paynton said for better drainage.

City councillor Laurie Walters applauded Tango Management for doing an excellent job on the safety aspects of the project.

“We’re open throughout the construction and they have people directing traffic to make it a safe zone,” Walters said.

It is anticipated the new parking lot will be completed by the middle of October, and that the new lap pool, sauna, steam tub, change rooms and fitness centre will be ready in the spring.

“Then the main pool will be closed and work will begin on the new leisure pool with the water slide, etc.,” Paynton said.

A day doesn’t go by that Paynton doesn’t notice people of all ages coming down just to watch the construction crews through the fencing.

“Kind of like Sesame Street live,” this reporter commented.

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