In the near future, Prince Rupert soccer players will sustain fewer injuries while using the track located at Charles Hays Secondary School after the Prince Rupert Port Authority announced the first recipient of their Community Investment Fund earlier today.
The port, along with the City of Prince Rupert, School District 52 and the Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association, will all be contributing funds to upgrade the track with brand new turf.
“We are very grateful to Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association, the City of Prince Rupert and the Port Authority for their assistance in funding this important project. The completion of this field replacement, together with the building envelope project that is underway, will result in a wonderful learning environment for the secondary students of Prince Rupert,” said School District 52 board chair Tina Last.
The artificial grass currently on the CHSS track has been there since the field was created nearly 20 years ago. The old grass will be replaced with state-of-the-art turf at an overall cost of about $600,000. Both the port and soccer association have pitched in $100,000 towards the project, with the school district and City splitting the rest of the cost.
PRYSA executives have been working towards repairing and improving all the existing soccer fields in Prince Rupert for some time, but until now have been limited due to a lack of funds.
“The Charles Hays turf has been worn down to the point that its texture is closer to sandpaper than grass when you fall on it. They’re in such dire need of repair our out-of-town teams don’t want to play on our current surfaces,” commented PRYSA President Mike Cavin.
“To have a project that benefits the community like this come to fruition is a wonderful thing, because our recreational fields have all exceeded their optimum life spans.”
School District 52 Superintendent Lynn Hauptman echoed similar thoughts.
“The life expectancy of an artificial turf is about 15 years, and this field is almost twenty years old. It’s served us extremely well, but it is now times to be replaced.”
Since the creation of the Community Improvement Fund three years ago, the Prince Rupert Port Authority has contributed over a million dollars to a number of projects, with this year’s fund amount growing to half a million dollars.
“As the port grows and becomes more prosperous, so will the community,” said Don Krusel, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
The field will be replaced over the summer months so that it will be ready to be used by students in September.