The popular running track at the University of Victoria's Centennial Stadium is getting a new surface with the help of a federal investment of $254,000.
Work starts July 17 on the $694,000 project with completion anticipated by mid-August. The track's renewal is a priority project for UVic, as it is the primary track facility for the Greater Victoria community enjoyed by elite athletes as well as school children.
"The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program has been instrumental in supporting so many communities as they upgrade essential infrastructure," said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. "I am proud that we have been able to support the University of Victoria's efforts to upgrade the track at Centennial Stadium, ensuring that it will remain a valuable asset for the University and wider community well into the future."
The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is part of Canada 150 Celebrates, marking Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation, with $92.4 million being delivered over two years in the western provinces through Western Economic Diversification Canada.
"Centennial Stadium's running track is a key part of the UVic campus and community," said Clint Hamilton, Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation. "The support from the Canada 150 community infrastructure program is going to ensure that both the legacy of excellence previously achieved and yet to be achieved can continue for our entire Vikes community for many years to come."
The stadium's initial infrastructure was built in 1967 with support from the federal government as part of its centennial celebrations, and is Victoria's main attraction for hosting high-profile sporting events.
The 5,000 seat stadium was site of the 1994 Commonwealth Games opening ceremonies and athletics events and has since been the venue for other major events including the 2000 BC Summer Games, the 2000 and 2004 Canadian Track and Field Olympic Trials, the 2003 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Cup Tournament and the Annual International Track Classic. The facility was also used for several Canadian University National Soccer Championships, including the men's in 2011 and the women's in 2012.
The stadium is home to the UVic varsity soccer and cross country programs, as well as the Pacific Athletics Track and Field Club and Victoria Track and Field Club. Its facilities are also enjoyed by hundreds of families every year for school track and field competitions and young aspiring athletes, as well as community sporting events.
The track was replaced in 1987 and refurbished in 1994 in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.
Playteck Enterprises has been awarded the contract to supply and install the resurfacing system, which will meet current IAAF and NCAA standards.