Contractors working on Centennial Square in Sparwood in early June 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Contractors working on Centennial Square in Sparwood in early June 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Businesses open in Centennial Square

Construction work in the square required the removal of parking and the sidewalk

Centennial Square businesses in Sparwood are open and doing business, despite the ongoing construction in the centre of town.

The square will be a construction site for the next few months after the district broke ground on a revitalization project in mid-May, but according to owner of Elk Valley Cannabis, Ryan Swayze, his business is hurting.

Swayze said he wanted the district to do more to help businesses affected by the construction work. ‘There’s just plywood walkways to get to some businesses.”

Swayze said that no signage had been erected to guide pedestrians or potential customers towards businesses that were still open.

“We’re basically on our own,” said Swayze. “Everyone thinks we’re closed.”

Located on the far end of the square, shoppers wanting to get to Elk Valley Cannabis would be better served going around the back to park in the lot near the church.

Ramp access remained a work-in-progress as of late last week, with the sidewalk completely removed, customers need to take a step up from the temporary plywood in its place to get to all businesses facing the square.

Other businesses that front on to Centennial Square such as Pharmasave and Funky Pizza have the option of allowing customers to come around the back, through the alleyway behind the square.

“People are picking up their orders from my back doorstep,” said Cindy Wrigley of Funky Pizza. “I have that option.”

Wrigley added that with most of her business going out through delivery, Funky Pizza was unaffected by a lack of easy pedestrian access to the front door.

According to the District of Sparwood, it has communicated throughout the process that businesses in Centennial Square will remain open during construction, and that access will remain with the contractor installing temporary sidewalks.

Signage hasn’t been installed, but the construction area is well-marked.

Works on Centennial Square will continue on through the rest of summer, with plans for the completed square to open by September, or October at the latest.

READ MORE: New Centennial Square design green-lit by Sparwood



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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