To the backdrop of disco lighting and cheering friends

Langford’s City Centre Park finished

Balls rumbled and pins clattered at Langford Lanes on Saturday — music to any bowler’s ears. After a five-year hiatus, 10 pin is back.

Sportsplex crowns recreation complex

Balls rumbled and pins clattered at Langford Lanes on Saturday — music to any bowler’s ears. After a five-year hiatus, 10 pin is back.

Langford officially opened its $14.1-million Sportsplex last weekend, a combination ice arena and bowling centre, which caps off the four year build-out of City Centre Park.

“Recreation for families is the No. 1 thing we wanted to do. This is the culmination of that,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young during a ceremony in Eagle Ridge arena.

Through a series of government grants, corporate and citizen donations, and municipal loans, Langford has expanded Eagle Ridge to include a play area for kids, built two all-weather turf fields — Bear Mountain stadium and Goudy field — and capped it off with the Sportsplex.

Announced in early 2008 and backed by a 2005 referendum to expand recreation, 14.5 acre City Centre Park is nearly finished — only the facilities for the new partnership with Rugby Canada are still under construction.

“We started this in a recession. Three years ago it was doom and gloom,” Young told the crowd and gathered dignitaries. “Times are better and times are great in Langford.”

Young also reiterated Langford’s partnership with the YMCA, announced more than a year ago, to build a new aquatic facility in Westhills. “We want to make that a reality in the next three years,” he said.

On Saturday, crowds toured the Westhills ice arena, which opened Aug. 31, in time for the hockey season. Juan de Fuca minor hockey teams practised and played games, somewhat oblivious to the hoopla. Ice time is like gold to youth hockey.

Westhills arena itself is coined as one of the most energy efficient facilities in North America, as it is designed to reuse 100 per cent of heat expelled by its ice plants.

State-of-the art Langford Lanes bowling centre, with 20 lanes of 10-pin and a lounge, should be fully open to the public in the first week of November. Surrey-based XCalibur Bowling, under the name Planex, has a 20-year contract to operate the centre for Langford.

Manager Tom Joa said the public appetite for bowling has been overwhelming. Indeed, most of the league spots are already filled.

“I’m blown away by the interest,” Joa said. “We’re at capacity for leagues and have a waiting list.”

For the first few weeks, Joa said the centre will be working with the bowling leagues for a trial run and to allow them to get a full season in. Trades workers who helped build the Sportsplex are also getting a sneak preview of the facility.

“Bowling is great for the family. Everybody can do it,” Joa said. “We got senior leagues, youth leagues, adult leagues. Anyone can get involved.”

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