A city committee spent much of Tuesday morning debating design concepts for a sandy beach area and wading pool added to Hawrelak Park - while some support the idea as a whole, there are concerns of what the project would mean for a popular summer festival.

The Community Services Committee discussed the proposal for the Beach Play area in Hawrelak Park Tuesday.

While the project has been primarily slated to go in next to the manmade lake inside the park, the committee voted to move recommendations that the play area go in near the existing playground to City Council instead.

The move is good news for Jack Little, Executive Director of the Edmonton Heritage Festival.

Little said the original location of the pool would mean the festival would have to eliminate 14 pavilions from the popular summer festival – as the festival didn’t have enough funds to change locations for the area.

“We aren’t in a financial position to solve the problem, it would take relocation of these 14 sites to another part of the park, which would require roads, which would require infrastructure,” Little said.

In Tuesday’s discussion on the project, it was estimated the play area could be built at a cost of about $4.6 million.

It will be up to council to decide whether they will move forward with a proposal for the wading pool area in the new location – although they will have the option of reviewing the original recommendation as well.

The new recommendation will be presented to City Council on March 6.

If the project is approved, construction could begin this summer – in the hopes it would be complete in time for the 2014 ITU Grand Final Triathlon.

With files from Ashley Molnar