BY BILL PHILLIPS
If you drive by Masich Place Stadium and it looks like a giant serger out on the field, you wouldn’t be far off.
Work is underway this week to install the first outdoor synthetic field in northern B.C. The turf comes in long rolls which are laid out one-by-one and stitched together.
“We’re just getting started this week with the turf, we should be about three weeks with that,” said Al Clark, city engineer. “Then we should be ready for the track people to come in around the second week of September.”
The $4.4 million project is being constructed through three sub-contracts … the site preparation, which is mostly done, the turf installation, and then the track installation.
Clark said the project is two or three weeks behind schedule, due mainly to a late start and the discovery of some material that had to be excavated out prior to installing the new track.
Even though they are a little bit behind, “we’re in good shape,” said Clark.
The Project will include a new synthetic turf infield meeting FIFA, CFL, and World Rugby regulations – a first for northern B.C. It also includes consolidated jumps area, permanent throwing facilities and cages, track resurfacing, and upgrades such as trail development. The stadium itself will get a new paint job, probably grey/blue colours replacing the current red.
Masich Place has been closed to the public since May 19. Masich Place will reopen to the public in the spring of 2018 as one overall complex encompassing both the stadium and PGSS fields along Massey Drive.
Funding for the project is provided via a $3.2 million investment from the federal Gas Tax Fund, $925,000 from the City of Prince George’s 2017 Capital Expenditure Program, and $250,000 from Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure Program.