North Delta residents are to get a first-hand look at the plan to upgrade track facilities at North Delta Secondary School.
The Delta School District and City of Delta are working towards a long-term lease agreement as part of a larger process to rebuild the NDSS track. The agreement would see the portion of the property on which the track is situated leased to the city for 60 years as a first step towards major improvements to the facility.
On Wednesday, Jan. 9, the school district and city are holding an open house at NDSS where the public can learn more about the project proposal as well as ask staff questions about the proposed lease and offer input on the plan.
“For a long time the community in North Delta has been asking for a better facility at NDSS, and a more community-focused track,” school board chair Laura Dixon said in a press release. “The board of education, and Mayor George Harvie and council, are currently working together on behalf of our shared constituents towards an improved track and field facility to meet the fitness needs of students, amateur athletes, and local residents.”
During an in-camera council meeting on Nov. 19, Delta council voted to enter into an “offer to purchase” agreement with the Delta School District.
This agreement would see the land the track is on — currently owned by the school district — sold (or leased, as now seems to be the case) to the city for $1. Because the track is part of two larger parcels of land, a legal plan of the proposed subdivision has to be completed before the land can be transferred.
“We are taking steps to deliver on promises made during the election campaign to invest in a new track and facility for North Delta,” Mayor George Harvie said in a press release. “The city looks forward to adding this facility to its array of municipally managed recreation facilities and assuming full responsibility for the lease area and the operation of North Delta Secondary’s track and field facility over the next 60 years. As with all major capital projects, the city will be aggressively pursuing all grant funding opportunities.”
For over a year, the school district and the city have been in conversation about how best to proceed with upgrading or replacing the NDSS track. The announcement of the Canada-British Columbia Integrated Bilateral Agreement for Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program last year opened the possibility of getting up to 77 per cent of the project funded by the provincial and federal governments, though the window to get an application in is getting very small.
“School boards in B.C. are not eligible to apply for the grant, but by partnering with the city via a lease, the city would then be eligible to apply. This partnership would make this future sports facility truly a community focused project, and if we are successful in obtaining the grant, a project that brings together contributions from all four levels of government,” Dixon said in a press release. “It is our hope that by working with the city, we will be able to provide a safe, professional-grade sports track for our students and the community.”
In the event that Delta’s grant application is unsuccessful, the project will still proceed as city council is budgeting up to $10 million to ensure completion of the facility. The proposed upgrade would include an eight-lane competitive track and field venue with a synthetic surface, natural turf infield, field lighting, outdoor multi-use courts, and additional parking and bleachers.
If the lease is approved, the City of Delta will conduct additional public consultation on details of the proposed facility in the spring of 2019.
The open house will be held at North Delta Secondary School (11447 82nd Ave.) on Jan. 9 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Questions can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted online at facilities.deltasd.bc.ca/projects/track-field/ndss.
More information on the proposal is also available at delta.ca/northdeltatrack.
— with files from Grace Kennedy