Preparing the ground

Landform Inc., has been on site in Riley Park as Project Manager and Prime Contractor for the drinking fountain’s installation.

Duncan ran Landform’s equipment on site in Riley Park

This week, the Landform crew laying the foundation encountered an unexpected need for a geotechnical opinion. This was a last minute surprise for the Water for Riley team.

Apparently, the engineering assumption was that the site had approximately 6-12 inches of topsoil. Landform found 45-50 inches of topsoil/unsuitable material and called the engineering consultants, who determined that a geotechnical opinion was needed.

The geotechnical engineer recommended a bridging structure of geotextile/gravel to provide a support structure for the rubber surfacing. The unsuitable soil was described as:

a silty sand fill soil overlying a native sand.  The silty sand fill was approximately 500mm thick and was dilatant, loose, and medium brown with some black organics throughout.  The native sand was moist, compact, and medium brown in colour. 

Water for Riley thanks McIntosh Lalani Engineering Ltd., a division of Englobe, for swift action in getting the site specifics that Landform needed. It prevented both delay in completing the work and the risk of installing an inadequate foundation. 

The geotechnical engineer recommended a non woven geotextile fabric overlaid with a biaxial geogrid reinforcement for compaction of approximately 300mmm of base gravels to bring the subgrade up to design elevation. 

It’s easiest to let the photographs translate that into plain language.

Kai laid the non woven geotextile fabric
The gravel arrived in the afternoon to cover the fabric, and Kai and Duncan levelled it before compacting it
This is the view when approaching from the north, the playground as backdrop

The next, almost last, step is to lay a rubber surface that is the same as the mat under the playground.

the site is ready for the final surface work, likely on May 14, 2020, and then – IT’S DONE except for the celebration

Installation begins at last

It’s been a long time coming

How long? Here’s a copy of the original email asking if a community, volunteer effort for a drinking fountain in Riley Park was a good idea. See that date?

And that’s what we did

This week, Riley Park visitors will see construction start on a student designed drinking fountain that is local from start to finish. In all the years we spent to get here, we never strayed from the vision.

Peter Staples, Project Manager for Landform, at 11:30 AM, 20 April, 2020,
outlined the drinking fountain’s footprint with a can of spray paint.
By 3:30 PM, the construction site was fenced.
After eight years, the project is moving forward.
Finally.
The footprint is amoeba shaped.
Trail has inspected and approved.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

See our story in a video http://www.waterforriley.org/2018/07/acad-w4r-video/

Drinking fountain proceeding

The installation team is ready to start

The celebration of the project is postponed. The project isn’t.

Whew.

Continual snowfall, even into mid-April, and warm sun created pools of snowmelt near the children’s playground. Despite Riley Park looking like a swamp, Landform will begin preparing the site next week.

Taking care of you

Landform must comply with COVID 19 protocols. The construction will be easy to walk around and watch from a safe physical distance.

In our team meeting today, The City of Calgary Water Services staff confirmed that parks drinking fountains won’t be turned on until Public Health officials declare the COVID 19 crisis ended.

Functional to follow in the future

Ever since this project began as a grassroots, volunteer driven effort, we’ve described it as an artistic functional drinking fountain. Until it’s safe to touch shared facilities again, the drinking fountain will be only artistic.

We look forward to a morale boosting celebration when we can again gather in beautiful Riley Park.

Until then, Water for Riley wishes everyone good health.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.See our story in a video http://www.waterforriley.org/2018/07/acad-w4r-video/

Crucial progress made

Another milestone met

Yesterday, March 5, 2020, The City of Calgary, Landform and Water for Riley signed the contract that grants permission for the drinking fountain to be installed.

We were all so relieved. The contract has been months in negotiation to get the language right. Everyone worried the construction season would arrive before the paperwork was ready. Thanks to Parks Department staff for making sure the documents arrived and to Chris at Landform who made a special trip to our community to sign it in person. Symbolically, we sat together and signed the contract on a picnic table in Riley Park.

In case you wondered, not that anyone ever did, here’s the legal description of the land upon which the drinking fountain will be installed.


Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;

for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.See our story in a video http://www.waterforriley.org/2018/07/acad-w4r-video/

The good, the bad, and the lessons

Water for Riley’s previous post shared news of an exciting donation from Spray Group that rescued the project. As did, by the way, every donation that kept the project alive these past years. How did it happen that such a large amount was needed so urgently at the last minute?

Ever wonder how major infrastructure projects, like building ships and bridges, exceed estimated costs? That’s with experts doing the estimating, procurement, project managing, and fabrication. So, Water for Riley’s part-time volunteers feel slightly less forlorn.

Three last minute issues surprised the volunteers and experts on team Water for Riley.

Foundation and drainage: A criteria for the drinking fountain was wheelchair accessibility. A concrete foundation couldn’t be guaranteed because water from the drinking fountain would freeze and thaw in Calgary’s weather. The City of Calgary wouldn’t approve a foundation that didn’t have a warranty.

To overcoming the warranty issue, the engineers suggested a different foundation entirely, which was less expensive, warranted, and better. Enter Landform Inc.

The new idea for the drinking fountain foundation is to match the rubber-like surface of the nearby playground.

Landform needed a lot more detail, such as types and sizes of hardware, depth of pilings, and materials that Water for Riley had never heard of before. Emails whipped back and forth for weeks, pinning down how much and what size of all manner of topics. Each step needed consultation among Heavy Industries, The City, Landform, and the project’s engineers, IBI Group. For the first time, the costs got specific.

Then it got interesting.

Prime Contractor: Since 2015, everyone on the project agreed that Heavy Industries would act as project Contractor. Despite Heavy’s worldwide scope, international reputation, and local headquarters in Calgary, it had never before had The City of Calgary as a client. While Water for Riley was a wonderful opportunity to build that relationship, Heavy isn’t one of The City of Calgary’s pre-approved contractors. To gain that approval is a lot of paperwork and time. Better, the team decided, to switch to Landform as Prime Contractor and Heavy as a subcontractor.

Then it got legal.

Contract: Heavy and The City of Calgary Legal Department had gone back and forth in iterations of a contract for months. With Landform assuming Prime Contractor status, that shifted. The contract among Landform, The City of Calgary, and Water for Riley is currently under review with the City Solicitor. Hopefully, it is approved and obtains an authorizing signature soon.

Meanwhile, The City laid the water line, Heavy ordered the materials for fabrication, Landform expects to lay the foundation in September, and we have sights set on completion soon after that. Never for sure though, as Water for Riley volunteers learned. Infrastructure projects, it appears, come with surprises. When the contract is signed, it will include payment milestones and construction schedule, so we’ll know better.

Then it gets celebratory.

Water for Riley has notified its major funder, Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT, that we expect to have an opening celebration within the next two to three months. We can’t wait.

Trail, who inspired the project, wants to be the first dog to drink from the pet height fountain

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

See our story in a video http://www.waterforriley.org/2018/07/acad-w4r-video/