Councillor Rob Anstey said the recreation and community living committee is currently considering their options.
“We underestimated how much this would cost,” said Anstey. “The next step will be to look at if there’s any different (material) we can get.”
The committee put forward the idea to apply for an accessibility grant to put down a rubberized surface to make the playground wheelchair accessible. Furthermore, the committee had planned to install mobility-friendly equipment.
The overall cost of the project is projected at $126,000—far beyond what the accessibility grant would cover.
Anstey noted that the type of equipment would depend on the type of surface put down in the park and that more research needs to be done.
Anstey explained that the idea for the wheelchair accessible playground arose from speaking to citizens and that the committee embraces opportunities to make Gander more accessible.
“We as a town have said we want to be inclusive,” said Anstey. “If these grants and tax breaks are out there for accessibility, we’ll try and grab onto it.”
As a result of the project’s cost, Anstey allowed that the playground would not be completed this summer but that he hopes the next town council will make accessibility a priority. He said the project could tentatively be completed next summer.
Anstey is the latest town councillor to express a desire to see Gander more accessible.
Recently, Councillor Sarah McBreairty also said she’d like to see businesses step up concerning the availability of ramps, automatic doors and wheelchair-friendly washrooms.