Martin Knowles of Talon Signs installs one of two new 24-foot by 14-foot electronic screens along the side wall of Langford Lanes and Westhills Arena. Made up of 28 smaller panels

Parks and rec plans rolling along in Langford

Giant video screens at City Centre Park latest upgrades

Parks and recreation facilities continue to be a priority in Langford.

That trends looks to continue in 2015, with 31 proposed initiatives identified in 2015 by city staffers as part of the five-year projected capital projects budget.

The document, presented at the parks and recreation committee meeting at city hall last week, points to a wide range of improvements, maintenance and expansions. They range from a proposed new Rugby Canada fitness centre to a new playground and spray park at Bear Mountain Park.

“It is onward and upward as far as I am concerned. We are constantly upgrading out parks and recreation,” said newly re-elected Coun. Roger Wade. “We have a great staff at Langford and they see there is value in so many different areas of recreation.”

He said mayor and council continually evaluate the needs of the community and recognize areas of further recreational growth in the city, such as the north side of the Trans Canada Highway. Wade pointed to the important role of parks and recreation to a strong community and said they hoped to add more facilities in the years to come.

Longtime Coun. Lanny Seaton agreed and said the mandate is clear.

“We had an open house (last spring) and people told us what they wanted next. They wanted (more recreation options), tennis and maybe another arena,” he said. “We know where the people want us to go. We obviously listen to what the people say and everyone got to weigh in on what they think is important.”

Meanwhile, previously approved upgrades continue to rise, including video boards for the Westhills Arena/Langford Lanes building, costing approximately $150,000 apiece. The 24-foot-by-14-foot screens, the first of which was mounted last week on the wall facing Westhills Stadium, can show replays, be used as a scoreboard or clock, run photos and video or advertising. The screens may also be used to facilitate public movie showings or help with fundraising.

“The good thing is we can do advertising, which helps minor sports, who get a percentage of everything on the field,” Seaton said. “The cost is low and the advertising is there, so the taxpayers are not going to see it come out of their wallet.”

In addition to a planned tennis facility at Bear Mountain and the new YMCA/YWCA gym and aquatic centre on Langford Parkway near the stadium, more new walking and hiking trails, beach improvements, venue seating expansion and more is on the horizon, he added. “There are a lot of recreational activities coming in the future that the residents of Langford are going to be excited about.”

The proposed parks and recreation budget could still change before its approval, likely to come next spring.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com