Parkland Secondary principal Lizanne Chicanot stands by the track which is the subject of a fundraising effort. The 35-year-old track is well beyond its best-before date. (Jason Earnshaw/Submitted)

Parkland Secondary principal Lizanne Chicanot stands by the track which is the subject of a fundraising effort. The 35-year-old track is well beyond its best-before date. (Jason Earnshaw/Submitted)

Fundraising campaign to replace North Saanich track off to the races

Track at Parkland Secondary School ‘well, well beyond its best-before date’

Residents of the Saanich Peninsula will have a better sense of proposed improvements to a popular but run-down recreation track at Parkland Secondary School in several months.

Lizanne Chicanot, principal of North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School, said proposed improvements depend on the final results of fundraising efforts – recently started as a joint project with the Memorial Park Society.

It owns the land and leases it to School District No. 63, with Parkland students representing the primary users of the track surrounding a soccer-pitch-sized grass field. It is a popular site for local runners and walkers of all ages, but also draws a range of other users including radio-control airplane flyers who use the track as a runway.

“[The track] really does provide a lot of recreation and good physical and mental health opportunities for the school or the public,” she said. Improvements also promise other benefits, said Chicanot.

They include attracting future provincial track-and-field championships, as well as other types of local, provincial, even national athletic events. “It is an ideal location (for such events),” said Chicanot, pointing to its proximity to Victoria International Airport and the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay.

Improved recreational facilities would also be a necessary condition for the school to develop specialized education opportunities, such as a soccer academy, and create a larger recreational hub in cooperation with Peninsula Soccer and its nearby fields at Blue Heron Park.

RELATED: Soccer club hopes to score funds for turf fields in North Saanich

While the six-lane track is popular, the 35-year-old facility is also in the words of Chicanot “well, well beyond its best-before date.”

Weeds grow through parts of the track, while potholes mark other sections. A sign posted by the District of North Saanich recommends ‘light use only.’

“If we don’t built a new track, this one has to be taken away, because it is starting to become dangerous,” Chicanot said.

Stakeholders have sketched out three possible scenarios. The first imagines a new eight-lane track in a shifted location with a well-drained grass field in the middle that would include facilities for various track-and-field events. The current estimated price tag of this “gold-plated option” is $3.9 million.

The second option calls for re-surfacing coupled with improvements to the drainage of the grass field and the addition of various track-and-field facilities for an estimated $880,000.

The final option is to re-pave the existing track with asphalt at a cost of $540,000.

Fundraising is scheduled to wrap up in May 2021, but Chicanot expects to have a better sense of what is possible by March.

The school board has so far committed $300,000. Since its recent start, the fundraising campaign has received $3,500 in public donations in addition to the $5,000 raised 15 years ago.

“As you can imagine, it is very tricky during COVID to do something like this for obvious reasons,” she said.

Chicanot said the project has the support of the school board, Memorial Park Society, the municipalities, as well aslocal MLA Adam Olsen and MP Elizabeth May.

Brad Edgett, executive director of the Memorial Park Society, said both the provincial and federal government have already received grant requests for $1 million each with a third grant request due to be submitted by the end of the year. “I will continue to find appropriate grants that fit the scope of the program as we continue down the fundraising path,” he said.

Local entrepreneur John Juricic, meanwhile, has also been reaching out to potential private and corporate donors, and the fundraising campaign has also remained in contact with the municipalities of North Saanich and Sidney, she said.

“We will continue to have conversations with them and hope that they can contribute something as well,” she said.

Donations can be made at https://bit.ly/2HWkHgf.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Cheyenne, six, Savannah, three, and Jeremiah Sinclair, 8, were out on walk with their mother on June 4 when they discovered the first of several hundred fish that died after bleach leaked into Reay Creek. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Spill in Sidney’s Reay Creek turns into ecological lesson for local children

Federal-provincial investigation ongoing into what appears to be a bleach spill

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read