Delta school district and city to replace SDSS track

South Delta Secondary has moved a step closer to getting a refurbished track by the next school year.

Council on Monday unanimously voted in favour of a staff recommendation for the city to provide 50 per cent of the project funding, up to a maximum of $175,000, toward the high school’s track resurfacing, subject to several conditions.

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The proposal was originally put forward by the school board, which has a separate, more complex, proposal to build an entirely new track at North Delta Secondary. It was endorsed by the school board/council liaison committee.

The city doesn’t have funding set aside for the project but can draw upon a contingency fund.

In order to proceed, an independent consultant would specify and oversee the installation. The city is hoping the life expectancy of the new rubberized track surface “may be much greater” than the expected eight years.

The project must go through the proper procurement process and a shared use agreement between Delta and the district must be developed and signed prior to the contract award.

The city wants assurances from the district that the public and community sporting groups will have the ability to access the refurbished track at SDSS. Delta would take the lead allocating times and issuing permits during non-school times.

A staff report notes the installation is estimated to be only one month, however, installation of synthetic surfaces is weather dependent. 

“Should Council support this request, every attempt will be made to achieve installation before the fall of 2018. However, there is still considerable work to be done in preparing specifications and following the prescribed procurement process,” the report notes.

In a letter to the city, superintendent Doug Sheppard notes the district does not anticipate any significant asphalt base or surface repairs will be required.

Coun. Bruce McDonald described the proposal as an opportunity to get a useable track for a relatively modest amount. The North Delta proposal is “still in the hopper” and will take more time to sort out, he said.

Most his colleagues including Heather King agreed, saying while the North Delta track issue still needs to be worked out, the SDSS project is a good start.

Mayor Lois Jackson also voted in favour, but had concern the proposal didn’t go through the normal city process including being discussed at the parks, recreation and culture commission. She also noted there’s many examples already of partnerships between the district and city in which Delta provides funding, including the school crossing guard program which the city has been paying for entirely for almost 20 years.

Delta school district staff figured the SDSS project at an estimated $350,000, including contingency. If there’s any cost overruns, the district will be on the hook to pay any additional cost.

Installed back in the late 1980s, the surface of the SDSS track was in such a shabby state that the district decided to rip it out this spring due to safety concerns. Sheppard notes, “It is only the unfortunate lack of regular maintenance funding that necessitates the track’s complete replacement now.”

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