By Mo Cranker on July 31, 2017.
One of Redcliff’s most historic sites is slowly being transformed into a place anyone can enjoy.
The I-XL Industries brick plant was torn down in November, and construction has now begun to turn the area into a historic park for the town.
I-XL Industries Ltd. president Malcolm Sissons says he is excited to see the second phase of construction get underway.
“While it is very hot, dry and dusty out here, getting started again with construction is definitely good,” he said. “Phase One was the demolition and rough-shaping of the park. Phase Two is now working at putting in the top soil, trails, street lights, concrete pads and the fencing.”
The park will be a large, fenced area with access from Mitchell Street, and is focused on putting the history of the I-XL factory on display for people of all ages to learn about and remember.
“The park is going to have three pieces of the old factory on display. One of the stacks is still partially standing, there is a kiln and a shed standing,” Sissons said. “We still have some work to do to make sure everything is safe and in good condition before we open this up to everyone, but we’re getting work done.”
Once complete, the park will be given to the town to keep and look after..
“We’re aiming for a very low-maintenance operation here,” Sissons said. “The three street lights are going to be solar paneled, the grass is a mix designed for hot and dry weather and the trees will be cottonwoods, which do OK in the heat.”
Though construction is off to a good start, Sissons says there has already been one setback due to vandalism.
“A few nights ago someone came along and knocked down some bricks we had set up. It’s not graffiti, it’s people actually just breaking things — it definitely sets us back.”
Sissons is hoping for a 2017 opening.
“There’s no date set yet, but I’m hoping somewhere at the end of fall,” he said, with time needed for the grass to grow before it should be walked on. “We’re hoping for fall and we’ll hold a ceremony.”
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