Plans for a new $1.5-million field house at the Cowichan Sportsplex are well along after North Cowichan council unanimously agreed to help with the project at the council meeting on Dec. 19.
Council decided that North Cowichan would grant the request from the Chesterfield Sports Society, which runs the administration of the Sportsplex, to apply to the Community, Cultural and Recreation Program to assist in funding the new field house, which would replace aging washrooms and office space, and provide an upgrade with new change rooms/showers and a multi-purpose meeting room.
The program is a joint federal/provincial initiative that provides funds of up to $134-million for infrastructure projects around the province.
Local governments can qualify for up to 73 per cent of the funding for a project that meets eligibility guidelines.
In a staff report written by Ernie Mansueti, North Cowichan’s general manager of community services, it was estimated that if the grant proposal was successful, the senior governments could chip in as much as $1.06 million toward the project.
The society is also requesting that local governments contribute a total of $194,000 towards the field house and Mansueti calculated that the municipality’s share would be about $95,000, or 49 per cent of the total amount requested from local governments, which could be reduced if the society receives other funding for the project.
Council agreed that North Cowichan will work with the society to help try to find other sources of funding for the field house that would see the municipality’s financial commitment lessen.
The society has yet to ask the City of Duncan and the Cowichan Valley Regional District to contribute.
The Sportsplex would contribute approximately $194,000 to the project.
The Cowichan Sportsplex is a popular regional outdoor sports, fitness and recreation park covering more than 26 acres in the Valley.
The property it is on is owned by the Municipality of North Cowichan, but the Sportsplex is widely used by many in the Valley, and beyond.
Mansueti said the request from the society is “reasonable”.
“The proposed layout and positioning of the facility meets or exceeds staff’s expectation,” he said in his report.
“The proposed facility does provide change-room facilities and meeting/event space currently not available on site. It also provides accessible washroom facilities, offices, storage and staff space.”