Sports fields now open at 116th Avenue and Lougheed Highway. (Contributed)

New fields of dreams for Maple Ridge

In two years, city has built four new, all-weather surfaces

Maple Ridge’s new sports hub is complete, with the exception of the completion of the new field house and finishing touches.

There are now two more all-weather playing fields at Telosky Stadium, next to Thomas Haney secondary, on the edge of downtown, at 116th Avenue and Lougheed Highway.

Combined with the new all-weather Golden Ears/Arthur Peake field just across the street at Golden Ears elementary, and Karina LeBlanc Field by Maple Ridge secondary, the city now has four new all-weather fields that can handle non-stop competition without having to worry about field conditions.

The Golden Ears/Arthur Peake field opened in September 2018, but that also was preceded by Karina LeBlanc Field, which opened in May 2018. Golden Ears field is for soccer and over-14 lacrosse.

Over the course of less than two years, Maple Ridge has added four new, all-weather playing fields.

The two new all-weather fields at Telosky Stadium opened in mid-October and serve as lacrosse and soccer fields in the fall and softball diamonds in the spring. Similarly, fields number three and four, with grass surfaces, will alternate between softball in the spring and rugby in the fall on field three, and lacrosse and soccer on field four in the fall.

Using synthetic turf for softball diamonds is also a new approach.

“It’s going to support a lot of play and a lot of games and a lot of tournaments,” said Valoree Richmond, Maple Ridge’s acting director of parks and facilities.

The field house at Telosky Stadium, which contains four change rooms, along with washrooms and a concession, will open at the end of the month followed by a grand opening, with a date to be determined.

The entire cost of the Telosky Stadium fields project came in under $10 million, for the new all-weather fields, new lighting and fencing and field house.

Funding for that was given as part of Maple Ridge’s alternative approval process that took place in January 2018, requiring the public to agree to the city borrowing, if necessary, to pay for the fields.

“It’s a huge investment in community sports,” Richmond said of the new fields.

“It’s a really efficient use … for the land,” she said, adding the area will be the main venue for the Maple Ridge 2020 BC Summer Games next July.

Susan Carr, adult women’s soccer coordinator with West Coast Auto Group Football Club, said the new fields are making practising and scheduling easier.

“We’re thrilled to have them online and to have access to them,” Carr said.

“I think everybody is just happy to have the extra space.”

All of the new fields, except for Karina LeBlanc, will use the state-of-the-art thermoplastic elastomer, instead of crumb rubber. The resurfaced field at Samuel Robertson Technical, also completed in 2018, used the same material.

Using thermoplastic elastomer will allow better control on the field by players and be less abrasive and odour free. The material used is food-grade polymer beads that will be either green or brown, instead of black, allowing a cooler playing surface.

“I’d say that the Telosky Stadium has been a large project for us, which we’re really excited to see the community use,” Richmond said.

She added that the new facility has made a huge change to the appearance of the corner of 116th Avenue and Lougheed Highway compared to a few years ago.

Westview secondary also has an artificial field.

With the fields open, minor lacrosse held a tournament at the end of October. Meanwhile, the track at Maple Ridge secondary was relined and recoated, in anticipation of the 2020 BC Summer Games, July 23 to 26 in Maple Ridge.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

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