Masich Upgrades ‘On Track’
l-r Brad Johnson Vice President Prince George Minor Football and Rob Sherlock, President of Prince George Minor Football Association look at plan – photos 250News
Prince George, B.C.- Public reaction to the plans to upgrade Masich Stadium in Prince George seem positive.
The $4.2 million dollar project will see the 26 year old facility undergo some major improvements including a new synthetic infield, consolidated jumps area, permanent throwing facilities and cages, track resurfacing and some trail development. (full plan can be accessed by clicking here or on smaller image at right.)
Brad Beckett, Manager of Community Partnerships for the City says response to the concept design has been positive “Definitely for the 2017 construction, I think everyone’s really excited about the track being improved and the new infield as well.”
That new infield will be made of synthetic turf as the current natural turf needs to be totally redone and reseeding isn’t a viable option “It’s kind of spending good money after bad” says Beckett “Types of use that happen in the infield, it just tears it ( natural turf) up. With our cold winters and it just doesn’t work well with some of the late season type sports like football, so the artificial turf will be much better for early spring use and late fall use and maximizing the facility as a whole.”
Beckett says the synthetic turf should mean increased revenues “Just in the amount of use, we’re going to be able to have earlier starts in the spring and it can be used later in the fall, plus, we can go back to back to back with events which we can’t with natural grass.”
The initial design underwent some adjustments as the areas initially proposed for shot put and javelin were then moved closer to the south parking lot so spectators can have a better view.
Project Manager is Alan Clark, he says final design drawings should be ready to have the project out for tender either late this fall, or early in the new year. He says construction will likely start in the spring of 2017 “Basically we are anticipating construction to begin right after the Relay for Life ( in May) and then it will be up to the contractor on what work is scheduled .” It is hoped the work can be completed in the fall of 2017.
The costs of the upgrades are being covered by $775 thousand from the City, $3.2 million from the Federal Government’s gas tax fund , and $250 thousand from Northern Development Initiative Trust.
Having a new facility will go a long way towards Prince George landing some major sporting events and those events can boost the local economy.
The City will look at other possible upgrades in the future including improvements to the grandstand.