There are several options for fixing the Queen Charlotte secondary school soccer field, ranging in cost from $5,000 to $800,000, says maintenance supervisor Bill Wiggins.
Although the field was widened about a year ago, local soccer players say it still has problems. Mr. Wiggins said the main issue is that the soil is extremely sandy (an analysis showed that it is deficient in almost every nutrient required to grow grass), resulting in bare patches and soft playing conditions. An additional minor problem is loose dogs digging holes in the field.
Mr. Wiggins met with two trustees, volunteer coach Jimmy Reilly, and contractor Craig Beachy Friday morning (Jan. 6) in Queen Charlotte to take a closer look.
The group agreed the best approach will likely be to rototill and regrade the field and then add new sod, Mr. Wiggins said, at an estimated cost of between $30,000 and $50,000.
Other options include simply applying fertilizer and lime ($5,500 annually), adding more sand and sod ($9,500) or purchasing an entire turf field made of plastic. The plastic field – which would never have to be mowed – would cost around $800,000, Mr. Wiggins said. There is a field like this in Prince Rupert but he said soccer players there aren’t entirely happy with it.
Mr. Wiggins said the Queen Charlotte field is better since it was widened, and it does have some benefits. The sandy soil cushions falls, and it also sheds water quickly.
It’s now up to school trustees to decide what to do about the field. Their next meeting is Tuesday January 24 in Port Clements.
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