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Report recommends Simmonds as site of future Charlottetown artificial field turf

Members of the P.E.I. Celts Gaelic Athletic Association football team practice recently at the UPEI turf field in Charlottetown.
Members of the P.E.I. Celts Gaelic Athletic Association football team practice recently at the UPEI turf field in Charlottetown.

A newly released report is recommending the City of Charlottetown look towards Simmons Sports Centre as the future home for an artificial turf field.

Council voted to release an assessment report during its monthly meeting Tuesday night, with the chair of the city’s parks, recreation and leisure activities committee saying the report will be used as a guiding document.

The report, which was awarded to CBCL Ltd. in a $43,700 tender, said Simmons was the most appropriate location out of the 14 different sites that were assessed.

“While each location provides its own advantages and shortcomings, we believe that this location provides the city with a highly visible, centrally located, easily accessible location with the flexibility of future site expansion,” stated the report.

 

“It makes all the sense in the world when you consider you have two schools there… it’s central in the City of Charlottetown and will elevate the sports campus to another level.”

 

Coun. Mitch Tweel, who chairs the committee, said he was enthusiastic about the project and was not surprised with Simmonds being the recommended location.

“It makes all the sense in the world when you consider you have two schools there… it’s central in the City of Charlottetown and will elevate the sports campus to another level,” said Tweel. 

The report stated that one of the major considerations was the presence of existing infrastructure.

“It is generally preferred to locate primary sports facilities in clusters so they can share support infrastructure,” stated the report.

The report, which is available on the city’s website, includes a conceptual design and also raises the possibility of phasing in two turfs (the main one being 70 by 110 yards with 20 yard end zones while an additional turf could be 65 yards by 110).

The location was supported by a number of consulted user groups, including the Mudmen Rugby Club, Privateers Football Club and Winsloe Charlottetown Royals FC.

Tweel said the public release of the report was the first step and the next would involve further community engagement through an open house.

“This is not a decision for one or two members of city council to make,” said Tweel. “There has been engagement with the user groups and we’d like to make that more extensive. But I think we have an excellent foundation with this report, it makes a very compelling case.”

Tweel noted the field would be “truly multi-purpose” and open to a number of sports groups.

“We’re looking for it to be all inclusive, we’re not looking for one sport to have a monopoly,” said Tweel. “This gives our user groups and fall and spring sports the opportunity to extend the season and that’s a benefit of a field turf, with the proper maintenance the lifespan could be 10 to 15 years. It’s very low maintenance and it’s able to battle and confront the weather.”

 

Mitchell.macdonald@theguardian.pe.ca
Twitter.com/Mitch_PEI

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