It was worn down, shabby and full of holes, but it is no more.
The Delta school district has removed the rubber track at South Delta Secondary, which had originally been installed for the B.C. Summer Games in 1987 but in recent years clearly looked in disrepair.
Safety was behind the district’s reasoning to remove it just prior to track and field season.
Delta parks and recreation director Ken Kuntz said the city received notification last Thursday from the school district that it would be ripping out the rubberized surface and painting lines on the asphalt underneath, but Delta is not involved with the project.
District maintenance staff will see which sections of asphalt may need refurbishing or a new surface installed, work expected to be completed by the end of the week so that students can use the track again by May 1. Maintenance staff report that the track has declined significantly and no further repairs to the synthetic surfacing are possible.
School board chair Laura Dixon said replacing the track entirely and upgrading the facility would be ideal, however, to ensure students have a safe track for the immediate future, the surfacing issue needed to be addressed.
“The board views tracks located on school properties as an integral part of our school athletics programs and extra-curricular activities. We know that these tracks also provide opportunities for conditioning for local sports teams and are an essential foundation for healthy communities—we too would very much like to see them resurfaced for optimal use by all,” she said.
The district notes the conversation about further upgrades to the SDSS track continues with district staff, trustees and all levels of government.
Dixon explains that this week's repair work ensures students and the community can continue to use the track in the interim.
“We have been concerned about the declining condition of the facility for some time and have been conducting meetings with all levels of government to seek partnerships to fund a resurfacing of the track,” said Dixon. “While the asphalt surfacing will allow for continued use of the track for school purposes, we recognize that this surfacing is not ideal which is regrettable.”
Hoping to utilize new provincial funding that could be used to replace Delta’s shabby tracks, the school board last fall approached the city about what it would take to bring together all three levels of government, and perhaps other funding partners.
Trustees noted not only students but thousands of Delta residents would benefit from such facilities.
At a parks, recreation and culture commission meeting, representatives from the district outlined their study of track and sports field improvements at four secondary schools, one being North Delta Secondary. Data was gathered to develop a draft site plan and cost estimates. The commission was told the base project cost was estimated at $2.4 to $4 million with options adding potential costs making it $6 million.
The commission was told the school district’s plan is only at a discussion stage. Should a funding agreement progress with the provincial and federal governments, consultants would be brought in to refine the project followed by further discussions regarding the city’s potential role.