Regardless of whether government funding is provided, the city has guaranteed to put up $10 million for a new track facility at North Delta Secondary.
Residents will have a chance to have their say on the plan at an open house next week and learn more about a big land deal between the city and school board. The two sides have an agreement that would see a portion of NDSS property, on which an older track is currently situated, leased to the city for 60 years.
A proposal originally put forward by the school board involved a land deal with the city in order for Delta to be able to potentially receive funding from a big pot of money the federal government is handing out to the provinces for such projects. The district agreed in principle to transfer the land to Delta for $1 in advance of a grant application. The city would manage the project construction, retaining ownership and providing for school use.
The amenity would include an eight-lane competitive track and field venue with a synthetic surface, natural turf infield, field lighting, outdoor multi-use courts, and additional parking, and bleachers.
However, the exact scope of the project wasn't clear and appeared largely dependent on how much grant funding, if any, was received. The city has now committed to spend up to $10 million regardless of the funding, hoping to receive something later from the Canada-British Columbia Integrated Bilateral Agreement for Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help offset the cost.
“For a long time the community in North Delta has been asking for a better facility at NDSS, and a more community-focused track,” said school board chair Laura Dixon in a press release this week.
“The Board of Education, and Mayor George Harvie and Council are currently working together on behalf of our shared constituents towards an improved track and field facility to meet the fitness needs of students, amateur athletes, and local residents.”
Harvie said, “We are taking steps to deliver on promises made during the election campaign to invest in a new track and facility for North Delta. The City looks forward to adding this facility to its array of municipally managed recreation facilities and assuming full responsibility for the lease area and the operation of North Delta Secondary's track and field facility over the next 60 years. As with all major capital projects, the City will be aggressively pursuing all grant funding opportunities.”
Subject to approval of the lease, the city says it will conduct additional public consultation on details of the facility this spring.
The open house will take place Wednesday, Jan. 9 at North Delta Secondary (11447 82 Ave.) from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.