North Cowichan has approved funding for a needed update for the Cowichan Sportsplex. (Citizen file)

North Cowichan has approved funding for a needed update for the Cowichan Sportsplex. (Citizen file)

Cowichan Sportsplex plans for upgrades

Renovations are planned to be completed for 2018 Summer Games

Work is expected to begin this summer on some major upgrades at the Cowichan Sportsplex.

Catherine Brandon, executive director of the sports facility, said renovation plans worth $875,000 are in place for the aging Rotary Centennial Track and the John Ferreira Field at the complex.

She said the track surface was installed in 2008 and is now at the end of its lifespan, and the turf on the 11-year-old artificial-turf field is worn down and needs to be replaced as well.

Brandon said the track surface is scheduled to be replaced in July, along with some reconfigurations on the track, at a cost of $210,000, and the artificial-turf field is expected to be replaced in August, costing $665,000.

“Cowichan is hosting the 2018 BC Summer Games so these projects must be completed soon,” she said.

“With people coming here from all over the province, we want all of our sports venues to be safe and for them to help us showcase Cowichan during the Summer Games.”

The Sportsplex applied for $500,000 in funding to help pay for the projects last year from the Canada 150 program, in addition to funding from local governments and the society that runs the facility, but the application was unsuccessful.

Brandon said the Municipality of North Cowichan has recently agreed to pay $150,000 towards the upgrades, and requests for the City of Duncan to cover $25,000 of the costs and the Cowichan Valley Regional District to kick in $75,000 have been made.

“The Chesterfield Sports Society (which operates the facility) will pay the rest of the costs, and we’re very fortunate to have a private donor who has agreed to cover a significant part of our costs for the replacement of the artificial turf,” she said.