The City of Surrey has approved a $1.4-million improvement project for the track at the South Surrey Athletic Park. (File photo)

The City of Surrey has approved a $1.4-million improvement project for the track at the South Surrey Athletic Park. (File photo)

Improvements to South Surrey track approved by council

‘I think the city is going to do a spectacular job’ – track club head coach

Long-awaited upgrades are coming to the track at South Surrey Athletic Park.

At Monday’s council meeting, the City of Surrey approved a $1.4-million reconstruction and improvement project for the track area, with work scheduled to begin this month and be completed by early September.

According to a news release issued by the city Wednesday, the existing track will be removed and replaced by a rubberized track with new lines and markings. The adjacent grass area will also be graded and re-sodded. The project will also include a new hammer/discus throwing cage and reconstruction of the track runways and high-jump area.

“South Surrey Athletic Park is a major sporting destination in Surrey and the track and field area is long overdue for upgrades,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum in the release.

“As part of the Surrey Invests program, the reconstruction and improvements will restore and revitalize this area for use for all track and field events. This latest project is proof that Council is taking every opportunity to deliver on expanding our green spaces and improving our sporting facilities for all to enjoy, train or compete.”

Included in the $1.4-million project is a $60,000 community contribution from South Surrey’s Ocean Athletics Track Club, which club head coach Maureen de St. Croix said comes from a Peace Arch Hospital Community Grant, as well as a $10,000 donation from Corix, a local company.

The club has been fundraising for track improvements for the last few years, and endeavours were just ramping up when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year and caused efforts to grind to a halt, de St. Croix noted.

Though sports restrictions have started to ease, de St. Croix wasn’t concerned that her club would be without a home facility through the summer months.

“We’ll figure out some alternative training,” she said, adding that the improvement project is “very exciting.”

The South Surrey track was built in 2005, and de St. Croix noted that such tracks usually have a lifespan of between eight and 10 years before repair or replacement work needs to be done.

“It just gets worn down and gets abused by the elements, too. Eventually, you’ll break the seal below the surface and once that happens, water can get in and lift the surface up and you get bubbling. And that’s when it becomes unsafe to use,” she explained.

“This is going to be a brand-new track and I think the city is going to do a spectacular job. They’ve really invested to make this a great facility, so we’re very happy.”

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