Work has begun on a new state-of-the-art playground in Swift Current.

The former site where the Palliser Regional Care Centre inhabited will undergo rough grading over the next month by Bulldog Contracting Ltd. 

Swift Current's Parks Manager Michael Newell said he's been excited to see this park concept become a reality since first hearing of the idea in 2020.

"It's definitely going to be unique to all of southwest Saskatchewan," he said. "I know that there is probably three or four of these types of playgrounds in all of Saskatchewan. It's going to be a feature in the city and we expect a lot of visitors to come take a look at it."

The grading work is just the beginning of a several-layer project but is vital to create the all-inclusive park. The sloping will allow anyone with assisted moving devices, such as wheelchairs, to move unhindered across the finished surface. 

"We will probably add a bit more topsoil," he said. "When we were doing the grading with our engineering department and the playground supplier, we made sure the final grade will work."   

Before the ground freezes the City is hoping to install utilities at the site re-routing them from Gladstone Street. Swift Current's Bridal Builders is expected to spend the winter months constructing the washrooms.

"We planned [the construction] over a three-year plan in our grant application," he said. 

Newell credits the residents of Swift Current for helping shape the final design of the park.

"We altered the site plan a bit based on their feedback when we showed them the original plan for the property," he said.

The playground structure will be in the first phase of construction and later on the rubber surface, pathways, and parking lot will be added to the green space.

"There is obviously some very beautiful and mature trees on the site, so we're going to utilize those within the design of the park we have right now," he said.

The inclusive park will occupy the north half of the vacant lot, leaving the City another future project.

"There's a southern half that right now is open for future use," he said. "We will be going back to the community and looking what they'd like to see on the site."