The final piece of the financial puzzle has fallen into place for the construction of the new field house at the Cowichan Sportsplex.
The City of Duncan’s council decided to grant the Sportsplex $25,000 over five years to help build the $1.5-million facility at its meeting on Nov. 2, with no comment from council members about the decision.
The city denied the request for a $25,000 grant for the field house last year.
At a meeting at the time, Coun. Tom Duncan said only about 10 per cent of the population of the city uses the track, the city already gives an annual payment to the Chesterfield Sports Society, which operates the Sportsplex, of $15,000 for public use, as well as providing water free of charge to the facility, in explaining why he voted against the grant request.
Last year, the Municipality of North Cowichan committed $95,000 towards the project, and the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s board earmarked $75,000 for it.
The Canada Recreation Infrastructure Fund also granted approximately $1 million towards the project.
Drew Cooper, director of operations at the Sportsplex, thanked the City of Duncan for the funding, and said the timelines of the cash infusion works for the project.
“We’re in the final design stage for the field house now, and we hope to have shovels in the ground in January,” he said.
“If all goes according to plan, the new field house could be open in September.”
The Cowichan Sportsplex is a popular regional outdoor sports, fitness and recreation park covering more than 26 acres in the Valley.
It is situated on land owned by the Municipality of North Cowichan, but the Sportsplex is widely used by many in the Valley, and beyond.
The new field house will replace aging office space, which is being provided by a temporary and cramped portable building, and washrooms, as well as providing new change rooms/showers and a multi-purpose meeting room for the first time.
It’s anticipated that the field house will lead to the expansion of existing programs at the Sportsplex, and inaugurate new ones.