Crews work on replacing the turf at John Ferreira Field Tuesday afternoon. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Crews work on replacing the turf at John Ferreira Field Tuesday afternoon. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Cowichan Sportsplex upgrades nearing completion

Just about a year or so out from the 2018 BC Summer Games to be held right here in the Valley, the Cowichan Sportsplex is close to having a new track and a new turf field.

“They’re saying right now probably around Aug. 20,” Sportsplex spokesperson Skye Olender said Tuesday of the replacement project. “It really depends on the weather and how quickly they’re working but it’s scheduled to be around then.”

Olender said the turf has started to be laid out and the track is almost done.

After the Chesterfield Sportsplex Society was unsuccessful with a grant application, the Municipality of North Cowichan agreed to put $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 had been made. Both local governments did end up helping out with funds. Drillwell Enterprises was also integral to the completion of the project.

The Society footed the remainder of the $875,000 bill with help from a private donor who pitched in a significant portion of the cost to replace the turf at the complex’s John Ferreira Field.

“This also wouldn’t have been able to happen without our amazing volunteers,” Olender noted. Of note was the folks with Cowichan Field Hockey who helped remove the old turf.

Having been installed in 2008, the track was showing wear as it neared the end of its lifespan. The 11-year-old turf was also due for replacement.

sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com