Work starts on artificial turf field, grandstand

Work on the artificial turf field is underway, beginning with a substantial amount of earthwork to prepare the site.

“There is more top soil to move than expected, but we are hoping to see the earthwork and the site preparation done before freeze-up this year,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “This project has been planned for years and it will be exciting to see it take shape.”

The grandstand will include a building that will house a large team dressing room, four smaller dressing rooms, a concession stand, public washrooms, room for storage, a media and announcers’ room, and two fully equipped multi-purpose rooms.

The project also will include a digital scoreboard as well as an outdoor lighting and audio package. The field itself will be lined for football, soccer, and rugby. It is designed so that the infrastructure for an inflatable dome structure can be added as a possible Phase 2 to the project.

“The possibility of putting a dome over the field was very intriguing, so we designed the facility in a way that this can be considered in the future,” Copeland said. “We’ve heard that enclosed fields in other communities see heavy use by a wide range of recreational groups throughout the year – it’s an option we wanted to keep open.”

Construction will see a new gravel ring road built to tie the facility into the existing parking lot and access roads, as well as a gravel parking lot with over 150 spaces. The budget for the project from design through earthwork and construction is $11 million.

The construction contract was awarded to Nova Construction Services, and work is expected to take 18 months to complete.

“This field will be an exciting addition to our recreational infrastructure,” Copeland said. “We see it being well-used, not only by sports groups but also as a possible venue for concerts and other community functions. The artificial turf will extend the season of spring summer and fall sports, and the facility itself will give our staff a great option when planning events.”