Provincial funding has been secured by Highlands to go towards new lighting for the lower soccer fields at the West Shore Parks and Recreation.
In total $201,896 has been awarded to Highlands who, as a member municipality of West Shore Parks and Recreation Society, agreed to sponsor the grant bid for the complex.
The money will be used to complete lighting on the complex’s three soccer fields for night use. Currently only one field can be fully lit and the project has long been on the recreation board’s wish list. Four more stanchions of lights will be installed to light all three fields.
“It’s been on our capital request for over 10 years,” said administrator Linda Barnes.
With the new lighting, all three soccer fields will be able to be used later into evenings. Barnes said that this won’t necessarily translate to more soccer programs, but it will mean that field time will be more available. Also, the quality of the fields will be improved as activity is spread out more evenly over three rather then just one.
The grass fields are rehabilitated every summer and Barnes said that the time spent doing that will be reduced because of reduced wear and tear on field No. 2, the only field properly lit at night.
Juan de Fuca soccer president Dave Johnson said the new lights will help solve the problem of how the current lights are angled across the fields. With 1,100 players, JDF soccer is the largest user of the fields.
“This is wonderful for us,” he said. “Field No. 2 is the only one used (at night). It gets overused.”
Another piece of the project is to upgrade the facility’s 2.8 kilometre chip trail that encircles the property. The trail will be converted to a crushed rock base that will help with drainage and will make the trail more accessible year round.
The total cost of the lights and chip trail project is $250,000. The difference after the grant will be made up from capital expenses already slotted for the project. The grant will actually free up funds in the capital budget to go towards other projects on the list.
Over the past year the recreation society had a five-year plan established for the recreation complex. Some items will now be moved ahead due to the new money. Projects include refurbishing washrooms, retiling the child’s pool, replacing floors in certain areas of the complex and replacing the roof on the field house.
“We’ll be able to do more of the five-year plan earlier because we won’t be using municipal money,” Barnes said. “So it’s pretty exciting.”
Upgrades to Glen Lake park
Funding from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development will also be going to Langford for upgrades to Glen Lake Beach Park. In total $384,000 will help the city to upgrade amenities at the two acre park and fix drainage issues.
Langford is planning to contribute $96,000, or 20 per cent, of the total cost of the project, if approved by council in May.
Langford park planner Jane Waters said that the money will go toward improving the swimming area, the trails and the small-craft boat launch. The city also plans to install volleyball courts in the area. Engineers and a biologist will look at the shoreline before any work goes ahead.
“We’re really excited about it, it’s a really nice little park down there,” Waters said. “It’s just been basically maintained over the years but I think there’s a few things we can do to make it a bit more exciting.”
The funding is a part of the ministry’s community recreation program which funds up to 80 per cent of eligible costs for projects that improve recreation infrastructure. More than $70 million is being handed out for projects across the province.