Optimist Hill Project: Analysis begins at Diefenbaker Hill
Members of P. Machibroda Engineering and the Optimist Hill Campaign pose atop Diefenbaker Hill in Saskatoon on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016. (Allison Bamford/CTV Saskatoon)
A new activity park in Saskatoon is one step closer to being complete.
Starting Monday, the Optimist Hill Project, which will consist of a winter and summer activity park, is undergoing analysis to test the stability of the hill in Diefenbaker Park.
Engineers will test the soil, integrity of the slope and the impact future construction might have on the hill, according to Kyle Bruce, junior technical engineer with P. Machibroda Engineering. The analysis will also determine a location for the construction of a chalet as well as provide foundation recommendations.
Bruce expects the analysis to be complete within a month.
The Optimist Club of Saskatoon isn't anticipating any issues with the analysis, which is one of the final requirements before construction begins.
“We’re not at all concerned it’s going to be an issue, but it’s just a logistic we have to do before we go any further,” said Rob Letts, co-chair of the Optimist Hill Campaign.
The project will be constructed in two phases, according to Letts. Phase one will be the construction of the winter and summer park, which will feature extreme snowboarding, tubing lanes, downhill skiing, tobogganing and terrain excursions. The second phase will be the construction of a chalet.
The Optimist Club plans to begin construction of the park by May 2017, with the hopes of completing the park in time for the following winter, Letts said.
He estimates the entire project will cost around $5.5 million.
The project has received some sponsorship from companies in the city and the group is still hopeful the federal government will approve their application for funding. However, the majority of the project is funded by donations, according to Letts.
“It’s really important that the public and the community at large realize that our group is committed to getting this project done,” he said. “It is certainly going to have to come at the efforts of our community to participate in a community fundraising event.”
Letts encourages the public to donate to the project online at optimisthillcampaign.ca.
The next fundraising event will be Dec. 21. Olympic snowboarder Mark McMorris and his brother, Craig McMorris, will be in attendance. All funds will go toward the Optimist Hill Project.