Work begins on Maple Ridge’s new turf fields

Work begins on Maple Ridge’s new turf fields

Karina LeBlanc field first under construction

A contract has been awarded for construction of the new Karina LeBlanc Field in Maple Ridge, and work is starting immediately on the second of three projects that will see four new artificial turf fields built.

The field named for the now-retired Canadian women’s national soccer team keeper is at Merkley Park. The naming of the new field was revealed as part of the BC Summer Games announcement on March 10, 2017.

Now city staff is in the process of developing one turf field at Golden Ears elementary, and a cluster of four fields – two synthetic and two grass – at Thomas Haney secondary.

Work can begin on LeBlanc field, and will be completed in November. City staff is doing detailed design work on the Golden Ears field, and once work begins it will also take approximately four months to complete, said Valoree Richmond, city manager of parks planning and operations.

She said work on the Thomas Haney fields will be more complex, and take longer. On July 19 staff presented the project in an open house, and got more public feedback online. Comments were positive from users, said Richmond, but there were also neighbourhood concerns about noise, traffic and lights.

She said advances in LED lighting should limit glare and light overspill from the field lights.

The local soccer association president, Jason Salchert of West Coast Auto Group FC, is excited about the improvements. The redevelopment of fields at Thomas Haney, combined with two new turf fields across from Pitt Meadows Athletic Park, will give the association two hubs.

He predicts the demand for the fields will see them well used.

“By the time they’re built, they’re going to be all jam packed,” said Salchert. “All of that field allocation will be used up.”

He is also happy with the process.

“The city… they have been fantastic at allowing all the stakeholders to have a say.”

The Thomas Haney project will include conversion of two softball diamonds to synthetic surface with practice areas and field lines to support fall and winter sports. Three will be four lighted diamonds and a field house. Across the street will be the Golden Ears Elementary turf field.

The city issued a press release about the LeBlanc park.

“This is another milestone as council implements a strong vision around ensuring our community has the facilities we need for our youth to be able to achieve their goals in their chosen sports, live healthy active lifestyles and build the kind of relationships and connections that will launch them into adulthood with confidence and purpose,” said Mayor Nicole Read. “This new field is named for Olympic Bronze Medalist, Karina LeBlanc, who began her journey to represent Canada at the highest levels of women’s soccer playing on the gravel field this new facility will replace. Her story will now be intertwined with this field and be a beacon for her message about ‘dreaming big,’ working hard, making choices and taking action to make your dreams a reality.”

On March 10, she told the story of how she and her brother would go out to that gravel field at Merkley Park and play every day. Her story was recorded as part of the BC Summer Games announcement which can be found on the City of Maple Ridge’s YouTube channel at youtu.be/6pnbEP1fReU (her story starts at 5:30 into the video).

In addition to the synthetic field, the development will include the creation of a new parking lot, lighting enhancements and landscaping improvements for the overall site. Work on the $2.5 million project is expected to commence in August.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue had a helicopter rescue in Golden Ears Park on Saturday. (Special to The News)
Helicopter Rescue in Golden Ears park

Ridge Meadows search team assists injured hiker

A vehicle incident is blocking the eastbound lanes on Lougheed Highway at Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge on Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Google)
TRAFFIC: Lougheed Highway cleared in Maple Ridge, expect congestion

Earlier, eastbound lanes at Jim Robson Way were closed

CP Rail intends to create a logistics park with fuel and grain storage in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)
LETTER: CP’s history in Pitt Meadows does not bode well for the future

National rail company needs to be a better neighbour if it wants to expand operations

The pandemic has sent the price of dogs skyrocketing. A local letter writers asks some questions about having pets. (Black Press Media files)
LETTER: Maple Ridge resident questions people’s views on pets

People owe pets the same love and commitment they show to humans, a letter writer contends

Horse riders are struggling to find parking for their vehicles and trailers in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Crystal Ireland/Special to The News)
Petition for equestrian parking spaces in Maple Ridge park gets huge response

Horse riders say their parking lots have been overtaken by cars in Golden Ears Provincial Park

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has opened two domes where customers can enjoy wine tastings and local goodies. (Photo by Megan Ashley Creative)
Abbotsford winery first in Fraser Valley to open wine-tasting domes

Singletree Winery offers two themed transparent enclosures

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

(Photo submitted)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

Most Read