Karina LeBlanc Field, next to MRSS, is set to open this weekend. (THE NEWS/files)

Karina LeBlanc field opening this weekend

Most of Maple Ridge rec projects approved by the public will be done by the end of 2019.

Maple Ridge is on the fast track for getting its new rec facilities underway and open as soon as possible.

Most of the eight projects approved by the public earlier this year will be done by the end of 2019, parks and facilities director David Boag told council.

The $9-million re-do of the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre is expected to be complete by the first few months of 2019, he said.

The Albion community centre, which will be built in tandem with the new elementary school on 104th Avenue, is expected to be open by the last quarter of 2019, Boag added.

The goal is to have both the school and centre, which have the same architect, open at the same time.

Similarly, the two artificial sports fields on the grounds of Thomas Haney secondary will also open in late 2019, as will the new arena at Planet Ice. However, the arena owners are expected to make a presentation to the city soon on that project.

Improvements to the track area at Maple Ridge secondary should be done by the fall of 2019. That will dovetail with the opening this weekend of the new Karina Leblanc Field, next to the school.

Renovations to the kayak and canoe facility at Whonnock Lake should be done by the fall of 2019, while the two community gathering places in Silver Valley should be done by the end of next year.

The public approved borrowing at total of $49.5 million in January for the projects through the alternative approval process, in which 10 per cent of voters had to sign their names in opposition to a project.

Boag noted that council still has to decide if it wants to build an outdoor swimming pool next to Thomas Haney. That project, estimated at $14.7 million. was left off the rec renovation list because there wasn’t enough information.

“The scope of that project changed significantly,” said Boag.

The city’s also discussing an indoor pool, which is a longer-term project with no known location or cost.

“It’s an incredible amount of work for our staff to have done. For them to have moved all of this in one term, and have all of these underway, getting started, is pretty incredible,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read.

“Couldn’t be happier.”

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