An eight-lane track option has received favourable support for the Ballenas Track Upgrade Project. (File photo)

An eight-lane track option has received favourable support for the Ballenas Track Upgrade Project. (File photo)

Committee favours 8-lane running track for Ballenas facility in Parksville

RDN to be approached for funding to support project

The steering committee that was formed to work on the Ballenas Track Renewal Project strongly supports an eight-lane facility.

The committee, established by the District 69 (Qualicum) school board in September, met for the first time recenty and agreed to explore the maximum upgrade that can be achieved and then reduce the scale if needed. That was part of a report the steering committee presented to the school board at its meeting on Dec 17.

The committee pointed out that based on the review conducted by Koers Engineering, a six-lane track would cost $1,165,563 and for eight lanes, the price tag is $1,738,438.

Oceanside Track and Field, one of the local clubs that have been pushing for this projects, would be happy with six lanes.

The field events, however, would be hosted elsewhere.

An upgraded track with eight lanes could be an economic driver as it would be able to host major events.

The committee noted every track and field facility in B.C., other than Nanaimo, uses adjoining field, or off-site facilities for field events and decided to consider this option with some minor, and possibly temporary modifications.

READ MORE: Qualicum school district commits $200k towards Ballenas track upgrade

The Ballenas cinder track is currently in a state of disrepair.

Updates were done in 2005 with studies undertaken in 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2014. However, no progress was made to improve the dilapidated facility.

School District 69 has already committed $200,000 towards the project.

The board will approach other sources of funding that include the Regional District of Nanaimo, City of Parksville, and Town of Qualicum Beach, federal government grants, gaming funds, economic development grants, rural dividend fund, federal recreation infrastructure grants, community works fund, accessibility grants, corporate sponsorships, community benefactors, corporate goodwill via fundraising campaign, working off-line with community leaders including in government.

The school board has been asked to support in principle the steering committee’s plan to build an eight-lane competition standard track at Ballenas with the final decision to come after reports from the committee on all implications including in relation to funding of both the construction and the ongoing maintenance of the track.

It was also recommended that the board of education write a letter to the RDN requesting funding support for the project in the amount of $500,000 with an indication of the board’s desire to enter in a service agreement for ongoing maintenance and eventual track replacement.

The Ballenas Track Renewal Project committee has 18 members that consist of community, municipal, regional district, students, and school district officials and trustee.

It is chaired by Ballenas Secondary principal Rudy Terpstra. The other members are SD69 secretary treasurer Robn Amos, Parksville Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Burden, PacificSport Vancouver Island executive director Drew Cooper, SD69 general manager of operations Chris Dempster, Ballenas Secondary student Juliette Desvaux, SD69 superintendent of schools Keven Elder, community representative Michael Garland, Town of Qualicum Beach councillor Scott Harrison, City of Parksville management Keeva Kehler, RDN management Hannah King, community representatives Kim and Randy Longmuir, RDN director Ed Mayne, City of Parksville councillor Doug O’Brien, Town of Qualicum Beach management Daniel Sailland, Oceanside Track and Field president Jane Waite and SD69 trustee Elaine Young.

If all goes well, the committee would like to see construction by spring of 2021 at the latest.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kim Burden, executive director of the Parksville and District and Qualicum Beach Chambers of Commerce. (PQB News photo)
PQBeat: Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Burden looks ahead

Podcast: Talk includes 2021 business plans in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, events and more

The Village Way and Highway 19A roundabout is the Town of Qualicum Beach priority for a grant application. (Google Map)
Qualicum Beach council favours roundabout over turf field project

Mayor believes road project has better chance of landing grant

Curling season is over at the Parksville Curling Club and Qualicum Beach Curling Club. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Parksville and Qualicum Beach curling clubs forced to end season

Restrictions impact financial sustainability of both operations

(PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: No public attendance or participation for Jan. 18 Parksville council meeting

Citizens can still offer feedback via email, telephone or written submissions

Town of Qualicum Beach council will charge the St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society for power and heat for the historic lodge. (PQB News file photo)
Society to pay electric bills for historic St. Andrews Lodge in Qualicum Beach

Group will not have access to building until lease is formally signed

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)
Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Most Read