North Delta Secondary moved a step closer to getting a new track facility this week, but how much money the city will provide for the project still isn’t clear.
It was announced at council on Monday that the city would be entering a purchase agreement with the school board in order to acquire a portion of the school site where the current track and field is located.
A proposal originally put forward by the school board involves 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 over to provinces for such projects. The district has 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.
Council will also discuss providing funding from Delta as part of the city’s 2019 financial plan process.
However, a report to council notes the project still lacks the detail and investigative work needed to understand the full scope and provide cost estimates. The cost of that work, along with subdivision, will be approximately $50,000 to $75,000, which will be split between the city and school board.
Potentially costing up to $10 million, the amenity could include an eight-lane track, seating, lighting and other features as well as a new turf field.
School district secretary treasurer Nicola Christ recently said the project is largely reliant on that federal funding. At a Delta council/school board liaison committee meeting, parks and recreation director Ken Kuntz outlined scenarios if a grant application was approved and if it was rejected. If the application for funding got the green light, a competition-level track and field facility could be constructed, but if the application is not approved, the existing track could be improved with a new surface and drainage. The cost for that lesser option is estimated at about $1 million.
It’s not clear at this point if the city is willing to provide even more if a grant application isn’t successful. The report to council notes Mayor George Harvie has spoken to senior staff about the need to ensure the existing facility is upgraded even if a grant application is rejected. For the application to be successful, a funding contribution of 26.6 per cent is required, but the report also notes it is “premature” to suggest what that might be.
The school board and city this year agreed to refurbish the track at South Delta Secondary. The city agreed to provide 50 per cent of the project funding, up to a maximum of $175,000, toward that project.