Wednesday April 18, 2012

Local News

The Grass Shall Be Greener 

Lit field, new turf to help fill gaps in practice time

Released by Starlee Renton, City of Chilliwack/Voice photo


Exhibition Park as it looked Tuesday, will be seeing new turf and lights.


$250,000 provincial grant will allow the City of Chilliwack to build an artificial turf field three years earlier than initially planned.

"The new lit, year-round field will provide Chilliwack's soccer, football and field hockey players with more practice time," said Acting Mayor Chuck Stam. "Council is supportive of initiatives that help members of our community maintain active and healthy lifestyles."

Council has directed staff to begin planning for the construction of a new artificial turf field at Exhibition Field in 2013. The estimated range for the new field is between $1.7 million and $2 million. By advancing the project, the City is able to defer the construction of a gyro field and put its $580,000 cost towards the artificial turf project. The provincial grant also helps reduce the City's cost for the new field by an additional $250, 000.

A gyro field had been planned as an interim measure to help address the chronic field shortage in Chilliwack, especially during the winter months. Gyro is low cost and low maintenance, but is underused during the summer months, when players relocate to grass fields. Artificial turf is able to accommodate close to ten times the amount of activity of a gyro field, as it can be used all year.

Chilliwack's Exhibition Field is already a premier sports facility but is restricted to the amount of play, due to its grass surface. An artificial turf surface will provide better drainage and allow year-round use, increasing useable hours from 160 to 1900 hours. The Exhibition site is also the preferred option for the construction of the artificial turn field because it already has existing amenities such as field lights, washrooms, change rooms and the grandstand.


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