The City of Swift Current and the Chinook School Division have each approved shared funding to construct the first all-weather eight-lane track in southwest Saskatchewan, based on tenders that were solicited in January 2013, with the contract awarded to Playtech Enterprises Inc. for synthetic surfacing and the civil tender awarded to South Rock Ltd.
The Chinook School Division approved their contribution of $645,355 plus taxes at their Feb. 11, 2013 board meeting, subject to City Council’s formal approval. The total cost of the track and field project to be cost-shared is $1,290,710, and will see the existing six-lane dirt track replaced by an eight-lane all-weather synthetic surface track.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Dean Robson, Director of Recreation & Parks for the City. “We’re excited about our partnership with the Chinook School Division, and that everybody has the potential to use it when it’s done.”
Both parties are in the process of developing a joint-use agreement for routine maintenance, future track resurfacing and amenities, scheduling, policies and practices.
“In regards to gates being locked … we certainly would have an arrangement that when it’s not being used specifically for track with the Comp program, that anyone could use it. … This, in reality, is something that we’re all going to share and we’re all going to be able to use, and on those Saturdays or evenings or times when the actual track and field athletes aren’t on it, it will be open to anyone.
“The people that do the coaching there, high-performance athletes, but as well the location to use it for general type health and wellness activities, fits greatly with our plans. If we get into the next steps, the bigger events such as was mentioned tonight by Councillor Bowditch in regards to Summer Games, there is a potential that it could be used, and it would help us with our bid for the games.”
Councillor Ron Toles was not convinced that the general public would enjoy a full 50 per cent shared use of the track, so he voted against the motion to approve funding at the Council meeting Feb. 19.
“I’m not opposed to the all-weather track,” clarified Toles. “I’m opposed to the way it was being financed and funded. It just seems to me that we’re spending more than our share, based on what we’ll get back in return.
“I like the idea of the track. It’s going to be good for the city, and there’s no other way to get it other than in partnership with the school, but I had to look at what I thought was right.”
Toles acknowledged that the joint-use agreement is still being negotiated.
“If we get 50 per cent use of the track, then I’m more in favour of it, but I know that the schools are going to be using it more. I question whether the school will be open in the evening for us to use dressing rooms. As seniors, will we be able to go into a dressing room on a Sunday? I don’t know that. If that happens then I’m more in favour of it, but until I see the final proposal, I’m saying we’re paying more than our share.”
Council awarded the synthetic surfacing work of $230,081.25 plus applicable taxes to Playtech Enterprises Inc. and $914,445 plus applicable taxes for civil work to SouthRock Ltd.