New Athletic Facility Proposal for West Van Secondary

The track at West Vancouver Secondary School was originally installed in 1948 and resurfaced in 1990. It is now at the end of its useful and serviceable life and is in need of replacement.

The 2011 District of West Vancouver Sport Field Master Plan recommends the need for an additional artificial field in the community.

Combining a new track with an artificial turf infield would support the needs of school students, many athletic organizations, sports groups and the greater community recreation needs.

The proposed replacement facility, the West Vancouver Place for Sport (WVPFS), will be a safe, inclusive, versatile community track and field sports facility. 

To realize this goal, diverse community members, including sports coaches and parents, have formed a Fund Raising Committee in collaboration with the District of West Vancouver, School District 45, the West Vancouver Community Foundation, and other community organizations.

Find out more and contribute

Background

Current state: A deteriorating track on a sloped site, around a grass sports field with poor drainage.

Proposed concept: New, level, six-lane rubberized track with an artificial turf infield with lights.

Why now?

The track at West Vancouver Secondary School was originally installed in 1948 and resurfaced in 1990.  It is now at the end of its useful and serviceable life and is in need of replacement.

The 2011 District of West Vancouver Sport Field Master Plan recommends the need for an additional artificial field in the community.

Combining a new track with an artificial turf infield would support the needs of school students, many athletic organizations, sports groups and the greater community recreation needs. A community information meeting updating the project scope, results of technical studies and next steps was held on June 3, 2015.

Whose project is this?

West Vancouver School District is leading this project at West Vancouver Secondary School. The municipality is working with the School District to provide technical expertise in the area of outdoor facility construction and traffic and lighting studies.

A track supports community health and wellness for all ages. An artificial turf field also supports community health and wellness, by promoting participation in team sports and developing lifelong interest in athletic pursuits. Located on a school site, during the day the field is used by school physical education classes and school sports, and in the evenings and weekends it is used by community sport groups and by community recreation users.

Process to date

January 2014: Community members attended an open house to learn about the project’s scope, possible impacts and estimated costs.  

April 2014: Staff reported back to Council, sharing the community feedback from the open house.  While the feedback indicated general community support for the project, there were concerns about traffic, lights and noise.

Rest of 2014 and into 2015: Participating project stakeholders met several times to refine the project scope and understand the site challenges and needs.  Stakeholder groups include:

  • West Vancouver Soccer Club
  • West Vancouver Track & Field Club
  • Hershey Harriers Athletic Club
  • NorWesters Track & Field Club
  • School District 45
  • District of West Vancouver
  • West Vancouver Community Foundation

January 2015: Participating project stakeholders reached a consensus on the project scope. This is described in “Cost Estimates”.

February 2015: The School District passed a motion to support this project, provided funding is in place.  The project is on School District 45 lands.

April 2015: Staff reported to Council with an update on the project, including the School District 45 resolution to proceed with the project. Council directed staff to continue to provide technical expertise to School District 45. 

May 2015: Professional traffic and lighting specialists study the site and assess the impact of the project.

We are here: The next step is to update the community with the new information on the traffic and lighting studies, and to provide an update of the project’s progress and scope.

Next Steps

At the conclusion of this Community Information Session, the School District, the Municipality and the participating project stakeholders will review the comments and feedback.

Use of crumb rubber as an infill material for the artificial turf field

Currently, there is “crumb rubber” as well as sand in the two artificial turf fields at Ambleside Park (known as Ambleside “D” and “E” respectively).  There have been articles in the news media about the use of crumb rubber in sports fields.

Georgia Straight article, February 24, 2015

For information on the use of crumb rubber, please visit the Synthetic Turf Council website. It has compiled resources on the topic, including industry news, current research and guidelines. The Municipality and the School District acknowledge that this information is provided by the industry. However, it provides additional information to that presented in the media.

Synthetic Turf Council

For this project, the School District and the Municipality are continuing to review information on this subject as it becomes available.

Lights

Feedback from the community has been generally supportive, but some have raised concerns about field lights.

Lighting is an important consideration for the project to maximize time for practice and community use, and maintain a safe facility for the community.

Some residents will notice the field lights themselves, and some will notice the glow from the field lights.

Potential measures to reduce impact on community:

  • light poles to be proper height to ensure light is directed downwards
  • increasing number of light poles to reduce pole height
  • technology to control the field lights so they only go on when the field is in use
  • investigate the use of new technology like LED to reduce the amount of light spill
  • adding landscaping, like trees and hedges to provide buffers
  • using a lower intensity light
Noise

Feedback from the community has been generally supportive, but some have raised concerns about noise. The present track and grass infield are already used daily by schools, residents and various athletics groups, but the hours the new artificial turf field can be used will increase with lights.  We should anticipate that some noise from field users will occur when lights are on.

Activities that likely will take place on the track and artificial turf field with lights include:

  • soccer
  • track meets
  • field hockey
  • casual community use like walking and running on the track for exercise or health rehabilitation

Noise that may be noticeable to neighbours could be voices, whistles and cheering. However, it is anticipated that evening soccer use will be for practices rather than games, and whistles are not used during those activities. It is also the norm for few sports field spectators to be in attendance at practices.

Potential mitigation techniques include working with groups using the track and artificial turf field to reduce noise associated with facility use in evening hours.

Traffic and parking

Feedback from the community has been generally supportive, but some have raised concerns about traffic and parking.

The hours a new artificial turf field can be used will increase with field lights. We should anticipate that some additional traffic from field users will occur when field lights are on.

Some have raised concern about parking, especially when there are events at the Kay Meek Centre.

Potential measures to reduce impact on community:

  • coordinate with Kay Meek to ensure there is sufficient parking available at times when both facilities may be in use
  • work with municipality and School District to implementation recommendations from traffic & parking consultant
  • improve pick-up and drop-off areas
  • create designated parking areas for different activities to reduce congestion
Cost estimates

Community fundraising is an important aspect of this project and is considered essential to its success.  All the participating project stakeholders worked together to refine the scope and estimated costs for the project.

Scope and Cost Summary

Item   Comments   Preliminary Costs
         
68m wide artificial field with lights   Accommodates a 64m-wide field with safety run-outs, use of crumb rubber for infill and 6 lighting pole layout to minimise residential impact   $2,439,691
         
         
6 lane with sandwich system track surface    New, level, 6-lane rubberised track, making the track more functional for recreational track meets   $1,127,302
         
         
Runways/triple jump and pole vault   To be rebuilt in lower field, south of track and artificial field   $74,272
         
         
Contingency (15%)   Standard construction contingency percentage used   $577,994
         
         
Project management, consulting fees & miscellaneous (11%)   Standard construction contingency percentage used   $487,442
         
         
    Total Preliminary Construction Cost Estimate   $4,918,701

 

Funding

Community fundraising is an important aspect of this project and is considered essential to its success. Some individuals have indicated an interest in contributing to this project.  The West Vancouver Soccer Club has committed $100,000 to this project to date, and the School District has committed $200,000 to the replacement of the track.

The School District is in the process of applying for a $500,000 community infrastructure grant offered by the Federal government in conjunction with Canada’s 150th birthday.
The West Vancouver Community Foundation is helping to facilitate the West Vancouver Soccer Club, the West Vancouver Track and Field Club, NorWesters Track and Field Club and the Hershey Harriers Track Club in the development of a fundraising committee that will seek donations in order for this project to come to fruition.

Through the 2015 budget process, Council approved funding of $20,000 for traffic and impact studies required as part of the overall project. Staff will also be exploring opportunities for additional District contributions for Council approval.

Next Steps

A project fundraising committee will begin to formulate a fundraising campaign in connection with the project.

What is the timeline/when will this project go ahead?

This project is still in the earliest phase. Construction cannot start until funding thresholds are achieved.

Background

Staff reported to Council on this proposed project on Monday, April 7, 2014.  You can view the reports and video here:

April 7, 2014 Council Meeting

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