The iconic Olympic arch at Eau Claire Plaza is being demolished, but the City of Calgary insists it will be rebuilt eventually.
The city said in a news release on Wednesday that once a $25 million makeover of the area is completed, the Olympic arch will be “shown prominently.”
The makeover is expected to make the area more usable all year and more accessible to residents and visitors. It also provides an opportunity to re-grade the plaza area in order to safeguard it from future flooding, according to the city.
The Olympic arch was created in 1987, and the city said it signifies the feeling of excitement and renewal for Calgary as residents prepared to host the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.
The arch is being removed so the ground below it can be raised to a height that would protect against future flooding.
The city said it will be safely preserved in storage until it can be reinstalled close to its original location.
Demolition work in the Eau Claire area has been underway since May.
The next step is for city officials to move the Eau Claire Lumber Company building to a temporary location so they can restore it and reintegrate it into the new plaza design.
The city said the building will be repurposed to “support programming and functionality of the plaza,” and that it plans to use as many existing elements as possible to limit the amount of waste.
“Paving stone from the plaza have been salvaged and will be reused at parks around the city,” project manager Dennis Hoffart said.
“Lumber from trees that were removed from the plaza will be used to construct architectural elements of the new design including benches and tables. Others have been used to restore flower beds on Princes Island Park and to improve fish habitat in the river system.”
The windmill from the Eau Claire splash park that was placed up for sale last month was sold and removed from the area on Aug. 11, according to the City of Calgary.
The windmill will be installed at a new dinosaur adventure park near to the Royal Tyrell Museum, according to a news release.
The Eau Claire Plaza is expected to take two to three years to construct, with pieces of it opening to the public as they are done.