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Breathing new life into an old structure to be used at Kingston’s Grass Creek Park

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Kingston’s motto is, “Where history and innovation thrive”, and a good example of that is happening at Grass Creek Park in the city’s east end.

It’s still very much in the early stages, but when complete, the Highway 2 location will get a new washroom and change room facility.

And the wooden framework that’ll enclose it has a real history, according to Neal Unsworth, Kingston’s parks development manager.

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“The 2008 volunteer group, including the Limestone School Board apprentice program, they built a timber frame structure with a bunch of community members,” Unsworth said.

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“After that work was done, the Phoebe steamship was located under there for about 10 years.”

The Phoebe was eventually moved to the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour site; as for the wooden framework that covered the vessel, it was put in storage — until now.

Talk about recycling.

Unsworth says that’s what it’s all about.

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“Of the timber frame structure, we were able to keep almost all of it,” he said. “Some pieces had to be rebuilt because they sat in the warehouse for a little bit, but almost all of that original timber frame structure which is the legs, the roof, all of that structure, it’s all being reused.”

Unsworth says, once finished, it’ll be a real asset to the park.

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The Pittsburgh Community Benefit Fund gave the city a grant of a half-million dollars for the project. A completion date is still very much up in the air due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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