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School District 69 looking for Ballenas track project manager

Board voted recently to go to tender
The Oceanside Community Track is working to reach the finish line of their fundraising effort to upgrade the Ballenas track. (PQB News photo)

The Board of Education of School District 69 (Qualicum) is looking for a general contractor/project manager for the Oceanside Community Track upgrade project.

The board voted, during its May 24 regular meeting, to go to tender for the position that will help organize and gather donations in-kind from various contractors who have expressed interest in supporting the project.

“Many of the donations and even our grants are contingent upon a completed plan and obviously we have a gap,” said Rudy Terpstra, chair of the track’s fundraising committee and director of instruction. “The idea behind putting a general contract tender out there was we would be able to hopefully, even through that general contractor, and then through some of the contractors like excavation paving companies, receive donations in-kind and hopefully bring down our overall price.”

Approximately 60 per cent of the project’s $1.5-million price tag, which includes $300,000 for unforseen repairs or maintenance, has been raised, according to Ron Amos, school board secretary-treasurer. The majority of those funds came from School District 69, the City of Parksville, the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Town of Qualicum Beach.

Amos said he hoped once the public sees the project is moving forward, more indivual donations will come from the community.

READ MORE: Ballenas track project in Parksville receives $563K commitment from RDN

“There’s multiple large pieces to this project,” Terpstra said. “We are getting lots of interest in in-kind donations from companies, but unless we have this piece in place, someone to gather it all, we’re not able to move forward in that way.”

Amos added a project manager could be helpful in reassessing whether the $1.5-million figure is still accurate, given the steep increase in building costs in the two years since the project’s cost was estimated.

For years, local groups such as Mid Island Distance Running Club and Oceanside Track and Field have been advocating to get the dilapidated cinder track at the Ballenas Secondary School upgraded.

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