The new warming hut and picnic shelter at the Parson Community Park had its official unveiling on December 21.
The warming hut features a covered area for people to change, a storage area, picnic tables, a fire pit, and garbage cans, all conveniently located under a shelter, next to the rink. The shelter and warming hut was completed and opened just in time for skating season.
Area A parks advisory committee chair Roy Pagliaro, Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) parks coordinator Veda Roberge, and team leader of community services Ryan Nitchie completed the final inspection and gathered the keys to the building from Russel Wagner of Olsen Projects.
The new facility features an open timber-frame style picnic shelter with an attached heated dressing room and small concession. The official opening invited members of the community to enjoy the new facility, skate, and decorate the community tree.
The original warming hut at the park was removed in July to make way for the new structure. With six picnic tables under the structure, Nitchie said there should be enough room for two teams. Other changes included making the switch to a ground-level structure to increase accessibility, and drainage around the building. Windows in the building were to be made from plexi or tempered glass to prevent it from being broken in the winter or by general wear and tear. The old building was heated with space heaters, but the new building includes electric heat. which will make it more comfortable in the winter.
“We couldn’t put any heat in that building. It was impossible,” Nitchie said in the summer.
According to Parson residents at a meeting in July, it was possible to see through the structure of the old building, and oftentimes it was too cold for children and adults to play at the rink because of the lack of warmth and shelter.
The old shelter was torn down because it wasn’t stable. Originally, the CSRD anticipated the new warming shelter would be completed in October.
A plethora of outdoor groups use the park in Parson, including pickleball and youth based groups in the summer, and hockey and skating groups in the winter. The outdoor skating rink is complemented with a summertime softball field, volleyball nets, a playground, picnic tables, and garbage cans.