Photos: PLSC. - Breaking ground
Photos: PLSC. – Breaking ground

© Copyright – 2015 – Victoria Sports News

Prospect Lake Soccer Club (PLSC) is building a brand new 4,000 square foot clubhouse that will overlook their home artificial turf field.

Located between the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE), Layritz Little League baseball diamonds and Vancouver Island Technology Park, the much-needed clubhouse has been at least 20 years in the making (as far as fundraising goes). The building is now nearly completed, “We broke ground in March of this year and are now looking at a completion date of sometime in November 2015,” Shared club Vice-President Adriano Sumberac, wPLSC imageho has been with the club for all of those 20 years. He served as president for eight.

The modest-size club boasts between 600 and 650 registered players, which means it is the third-smallest soccer club in Greater Victoria, which can make fundraising for large projects challenging. One reason for the two-decade long fundraising campaign is due in part to PLSC putting in an artificial turf field in 2008.

“So that the kids can play, we felt at that time that the artificial pitch was more important than a clubhouse,” shared Sumberac. “You know how fast the grass fields get closed in the winter.” He said to emphasize the point.

At the time, Greater Victoria was in need of artificial turf fields and the feeling was exacerbated as the coast seemed to experience a few winters where the rains were torrential. Until 2007, Victoria had two artificial turf fields, one at the University of Victoria and one at Hampton Park, which is the home of the Gorge Soccer Association.

“Greater Victoria went from artificial turf famine to feast in a short period of time…”

Framing done, siding next
Framing done, siding next

Independent of each other, over the following two years, several clubs around the city put in artificial turf fields. Greater Victoria went from artificial turf famine to feast in a short period of time. Some of the other soccer clubs that added artificial turf fields were Hampton with their second, Cordova (who merged with Gordon Head – now have two); Saanich Fusion Football Club added one on Tyndall Ave, Bays United off Finlayson Street and Lakehill Soccer Association off Braefoot at McKenzie. Additionally, PISE put one in during that time, their field is located just a few hundred metres to the south. Not too long after St. Michael’s University School in Oak Bay as well as UVic each added one more.

In 2015 Westshore RFC (formerly Velox RFC) celebrated their new turf field in Colwood, which is located on the lower fields at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre.

PLSC also uses Adam Kerr Field, which is located off of West Saanich Road, Glanford Park on Glanford Avenue and Beckwith Park on Beckwith Avenue in the High Quadra area, all grass pitches, all subject to closure on short notice.

One club coach said, “I remember checking the hotline and the website until late Friday and first thing in the morning on game day to find out if our field was going to be open, the turf is a blessing and so is the lighting, which extends the hours in the winter.”

Sumberac explained that he can control the lights from home on the internet. “There is no need to check the field to see if someone forgot to turn the lights off. I don’t get calls in the evening asking if someone could come turn the lights on either, which is great.”

Once PLSC had installed the new pitch, which cost roughly $950,000 and many hours of donated time and labour, the fundraising for the clubhouse started up again.

Windows in
Windows in

Sumberac took me for a tour of the building, as we navigated construction fencing and scaffolding he explained that the clubhouse boasts four independent change rooms, which do not connect to each other, so athlete’s gear is safe during practise and game time. There are two Saanich-managed public washrooms that will be available to the public and a concession as well as a referee’s room, which doubles as a first aid room, all located at the ground level.

Upstairs will offer a viewing deck which provides a walkway across the front of the clubhouse, an open gathering space with large windows for viewing, an administration office as well as gear storage.

“The big screen TV will go here,” Sumberac points out.” As you can see we have it wired up and ready to go, which when installed will be great for watching World Cup and large soccer events.”

There remains mostly dry-walling and then finishing work on the inside, as the insulation is in as are the windows, siding and the vinyl decking on the outside.

The clubhouse is on Saanich property and is a Saanich-owned building; however, the club is paying for it and will manage it. The Clubhouse includes wheelchair access, which will wind its way from the public walking paths near the south side and to the front of the building, which faces east.

Once the building is complete, there will be little rest for Sumberac and the rest of the volunteers at PLSC as the artificial turf field will need to be monitored. Asked of its life expectancy, he said, “About 10 years under normal usage. It has been seven now and some days this field does not rest. We could have games starting at 9:00 AM and teams are still going with the lights on at night.”