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

Petition underway to stop bylaw on homeless camping in Regional District of Nanaimo

‘Canadians are known for their meekness but this time we need to have a voice’

Qualicum Beach approves Pheasant Glen zoning amendment

Majority of residents who spoke at public hearing endorsed proposed amendment bylaw

Centre withdraws from cell tower project in Qualicum Beach

TELUS plans to continue to look at plans to improve cellphone reception in the area

Qualicum Beach council voices support for Ballenas track upgrade

Town still not ready to provide dollar amount without further information

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in a ditch in Coombs

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read