Design work almost complete for artificial field at Golden Ears elementary, across from Thomas Haney secondary. (Contributed)

One of two new Maple Ridge fields getting closer

Designs almost done on second all-weather sports field

Give it another five months and another $5 million and Maple Ridge will have two, new all-weather sports fields.

The subgrade and drainage for the Karina Leblanc Field, at Merkley Park on 124th Avenue, is almost complete, said Valoree Richmond, the city’s manager of parks, planning and operations.

With the gravel bed complete, a shock pad will be installed, “and then we’ll start rolling out the carpet.”

That should allow most of the project, located behind Maple Ridge secondary, to be completed by the end of January.

Ground-breaking for the facility took place in August, with former Canadian women’s Olympic soccer team goaltender Karina Leblanc in attendance.

New lighting has been installed and new parking, with spaces for 76 vehicles, also will be provided nearby.

Another feature will be the installation of a new piece of public art.

Meanwhile, design work for the all-weather field at Golden Ears elementary, across from Thomas Haney secondary, is almost complete, with the project going out to bids soon.

Date for construction to begin remains unknown, but it should be finished by next summer, Richmond said.

Cost for each field is about $2.5 million. The total cost of $5 million for both is already budgeted for, including $500,000 (for Merkley park) from a federal Canada 150 Community Infrastructure grant that was originally allocated for artificial fields in Albion flats.

Council in April, however, decided against an all-weather field in Albion because of parking concerns and the impact that would have on events such as Ridge Meadows Home Show or Country Fest.

“It will be two synthetic fields, getting more participants on those fields,” Richmond said.

All-weather fields allow near constant use by community sports teams instead of down time required for recovery of grass fields during rainy periods.

Two more all-weather artificial sports fields are waiting in the wings for the grounds at Telosky Stadium, next to Thomas Haney secondary. Those, however, are part of the alternative approval process in January 2018, requiring the public to agree to the city borrowing about $10 million to pay for those fields.

At least 10 per cent of the voters in the city have to sign their name in opposition to that, to force reconsideration by council.

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New all weather field at Merkley Park will have more parking. (Contributed)

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