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

The intersection of Despard Avenue and Moilliet Street, where a child was struck and injured in November 2020. (Mandy Moraes photo)
High-traffic Parksville intersection to get temporary 4-way stop

City staff to monitor effectiveness of traffic-calming measure at Despard and Moilliet

A Parksville Fire Department’s firefighter hoses down the facade of a Parksville Heritage Centre building after it caught fire on Friday afternoon (April 16). (Michael Briones photo)
Fire crews, roofers work to douse building fire in Parksville

Damage was minimal and workers escaped injury

Cast and crew of the Hallmark Channel series ‘Chesapeake Shores’ as they film at Parksville beach on April 15, 2021. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Fifth season of ‘Chesapeake Shores’ looks to showcase Parksville Qualicum Beach region

Executive producer: ‘We’re really excited for the fans to experience the fifth season’

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Most Read