Columbian reader Sara Morse wants to know what’s up at Water Works Park, a recreational site in central Vancouver that doubles as one of the city’s oldest and most critical pieces of infrastructure in Water Station 1.
“I’m curious what the future holds for Waterworks Park? Will the amphitheater ever be utilized again?” Morse asked. She wasn’t alone in her curiosity — of everyone who voted in Clark Asks, a Columbian feature where readers can enlist reporters to do their bidding, Morse’s question earned 63 percent of votes.
A few months ago, I’d written a story about a large contract awarded to a local builder for their work at Water Station 1, so I’m packed to the gills with information about the work underway at the park: a three-phase, $40 million overhaul expected to increase water storage capacity by about 3 million gallons.
In 2016, the site saw the construction of a new tower booster pump station, a new treatment building and upgrades to lighting and pathways. Phase II, currently underway, will replace two reservoirs and swap the existing water tower with a 1 million-gallon standpipe. Phase III, expected to wrap near the end of 2022, will replace the three wells on the 24.5-acre property.
All this to say, I know what the future holds at Water Works Park from a utilitarian standpoint but that doesn’t really answer Morse’s question. So I reached out to Loretta Callahan, spokeswoman for the Vancouver Public Works Department, for some answers.