The Town of Qualicum Beach is seeking funds to upgrade its playing fields with an all-season turf surface in the Community Park.
The town has applied to Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure) for the project, estimated to cost $4,553,091.
The grant funding would contribute 73.33 per cent of the project, with the federal goverment providing 40 per cent of the funding and the province 33.33 per cent, totalling $3,338,782.
The town has agreed to allocate $1,214,309 for the park upgrade and the capital expenditure will be included in the town’s next five-year financial plan.
Town staff members have also been directed by council to work with local sports organizations and stakeholder groups to raise one-third ($404,770) to reduce the town’s share of the total cost.
Chief Adminstrative Officer Daniel Sailland said the current playing fields do not allow football, rugby and field hockey to be hosted in the town. The turf surface would allow for new sporting activities.
“There’s a relatively good chance for our application to succeed,” said Sailland. “It has received the support of Oceanside Youth Soccer Society which is committing $235,000 towards the project which is a huge endeavour for a volunteer group.”
The west half of the upper playing fields will be designed to accommodate multiple sports such soccer, football, baseball, lacrosse, field hockey and rugby. The fields will be reconfigured to create two full-sized turf soccer pitches. One of the four baseball diamonds will be removed. Also included in the plan is the creation of a field house and covered bleachers with 150 capacity. The current field lights will be retroffited with energy saving LED lights and the control system would be changed to a token-based system, rather than a remotely managed system through a service provider.
“Oceanside probably the is only area that doesn’t have that kind of amenity,” said Sailland. “This would open up year-long play. That’s the advantage of this type of field.”
Sailland said the town will also seek the support of the Regional District of Nanaimo as the project is in line with the objectives of the Recreation Services Master Plan for District 69.