New RiverPark Centre revitalizes Lumsden campground.
Campers, ballplayers, and other visitors to Lumsden's RiverPark Campground now have the use of a beautiful new facility.
The RiverPark Centre opened in May of 2010. The 2,000 square-foot multi-purpose building includes a meeting area, a kitchen, an office, laundry and washrooms with showers.
The new facility replaced the RiverPark Chalet, a cramped, decrepit building which had been converted from a former train station. Demolishing the RiverPark Chalet was a change that RiverPark's recreational coordinator Chris Exner says was long overdue.
"It was to the point of being condemned," Exner says. "The foundation was rotten."
The old building also lacked an adequate number of washroom facilities, forcing park users to go across the road to a nearby gas station.
"We have three ball diamonds and 30 campsites; it gets busy," Exner said. "We weren't suited for the number of people that come in."
With the new RiverPark Centre, that is no longer the case.
The new building is flanked by two of the park's ball diamonds, and will get a lot of use during the spring and summer months.
The building is already getting positive reviews, according to Exner.
"The people who have seen it and used it just over the last month are just amazed with how nice it is," he said.
Exner said that the RiverPark Centre will make the park a more appealing place for gatherings like family reunions and events like regional and provincial ball tournaments. It will also be useful during the annual Lumsden Duck Derby.
Demolishing the RiverPark Chalet and construction of the RiverPark Centre cost $505,651. Exner said the project wouldn't have been possible without grants from the federal and provincial governments under the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF).
Through MRIF, each level of government contributed $125,000.
"In a small town, there's no way we could come up with half a million dollars to put in this facility," Exner says. "We always knew there was a need. When the grant came [available], we were ready for it, and now we have a new building."