The new market plaza beside Cottonwood Park will be ready by mid-summer. The stage, however, might not be finished, depending on the success of grant applications made by the city.
City crews have been working on the concrete oval of the plaza, including water and hydro hookups, and on the foundation for the stage over the past few months. Still to come: the stage, lighting bollards, landscaping in the middle of the oval, and a new washroom and concession in the area of the current market .
There are also changes underway across the footbridge on the west side of the creek near the traditional Japanese style gate constructed by the Nelson Izu-shi Friendship Society last year. A large mound of earth between the gate and the Rod and Gun Club has been removed and the city and the Izu-shi Society are planning to construct a pathway to the historic remains of Nelson’s first hydro project at Cottonwood Falls where some historic machinery will be installed for an outdoor mini-museum. From that spot there will be a lookout over the falls and the park.
The market stage will be made of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels, a type of manufactured wood that provides structural integrity without the use of posts and beams, and uses wood exclusively from sustainably managed forests, according to its architect Lukas Armstrong.
“It all looks like a more cohesive space now,” said the city’s Chris Gainham, who has been supervising the project. “I think it will be a big draw for the community – we don’t have an outdoor performance gathering place in Nelson.”
This concept for the market plaza and stage were endorsed by city council last summer.
So far the project has cost the city $194,000 and the remaining work including the $78,000 stage will cost another $198,000, all of which Gainham expects will come from grants.
When the market moves to the new location this summer it might operate without the stage for the time being. Not all market vendors will fit on the plaza area, and the plan is for it to overflow onto the adjacent area to the west.
Gainham said the city might receive in kind donations of materials and labour for the stage but he was not willing to elaborate on this until the work starts.