Over the span of a workday, a new grass community playing field sprouted up at Lakewood elementary school last Thursday.
English Lawn crews rolled out dozens of thick Western turf grass bundles, methodically carpeting 62,000 square metres of earth. It’s been a long time coming — the site has been ready since last fall, but consistently rainy weather stalled laying turf.
The project is split between Langford and the Sooke School District, with each chipping in about $175,000, said Langford parks manger Mike Leskiw.
It’s a steal of a deal — at $350,000 the 95 by 65 metre field cost less than half then full asking price. Leskiw said companies donated or sold at-cost soil, irrigation piping and retaining wall blocks.
“We got a lot of great deals. The soil alone would have cost $400,000 but most was donated,” he said. “A lot of products came for free or at-cost because companies recognize it’s for the community.”
The English Lawn crew who laid the field just came off laying the turf at Empire Field in Vancouver. Using a rolling machine and hard labour, foreman Ricky Styles said they can build a field in less than a day, but they have to move fast. Turf has a short shelf life.
“You have to be careful, it’s definitely a delicate process, especially laying it on sand,” Styles said. “But we can do this in a day.”
“This is a really good example of the school district and City working together to save money and build something for the whole community,” Leskiw remarked. “And it’s the only full-sized field north of the highway.”