The Town of Qualicum Beach has plans to turn two community playing fields from natural grass to an all-season synthetic turf.
To make the plan viable, the town has applied for grant to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Community, Culture, and Recreation Program. And to strengthen its application, the town sought the support of the Regional District of Nanaimo board, which at its regular community of the whole meeting on Jan. 8, agreed to provide a letter endorsing the Qualicum Beach Community Park All-Season Field Upgrade.
The proposed turf field is one of the regional priorities identified in the RDN’s 2018 recreational master plan. The cost is estimated to be between $3.5 million and $4 million.
“The town anticipates that the upgraded fields will be heavily used by local youth sports organizations on a year-round basis,” said Qualicum Beach’s director of planning and community development, Luke Sales, in a letter that sought the support of the RDN. “The project is considered to be a step toward the town and the RDN goal of being more youth- and family-oriented.”
The plan is to have the upper playing fields in the Qualicum Beach Community Park be upgraded to an all-season turf surface. The portion of the fields will be realigned to build two full-sized turf soccer pitches running east-west. To accommodate the extra field, one of the baseball diamonds would be sacrificed, however, there will still be three baseball fields in the upper fields, one which will have an all-season surface.
The field will be designed to allow a multitude of sports to be played that include not only soccer, football, baseball but also others such as lacrosse, field hockey and rugby.
The lighting system would also be upgraded to LED and the control system would be changed to a token-based system rather than a remotely managed system.
Sales said local sport groups support the turf upgrade with one group committed to making a significant contribution to the project.
The town will be responsible for the remaining final contribution.