Poor weather conditions in the winter and high demand in the construction industry has delayed the opening of the Al Charron National Training Centre on Glen Lake Road in Langford by a few months. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Opening of high performance rugby centre in Langford has been delayed

Booming construction industry has set project back a few months

The opening of the Al Charron National Training Centre, which will serve as a high performance facility for Rugby Canada players, has been delayed.

Cory Manton, deputy manager of parks and recreation with the City of Langford, said a number of factors have set the project back, including high demand in the construction industry and an unusual amount of snowfall that hit the Capital Region last winter.

The new goal is to have the facility, at 3019 Glen Lake Rd., open sometime between October and December.

“There’s no one thing, it’s all a bunch of little things come together. It’s not surprising, given the busyness of the construction industry right now and the availability of people to work in it,” said Manton, who has been meeting once a week with contractors and Rugby Canada.

“But we’re still ploughing ahead and we’re expecting it [to be completed] in mid to late fall.”

RELATED: New Rugby Canada training centre in Langford given a name

In December 2016, crews broke ground on the $8-million high performance training centre.

The two-storey facility will feature a roughly 700-square-foot gym, a therapy clinic, recovery and stretching rooms, and a kitchen and lounge area. There will also be six one-bedroom studio units and the recently announced Rugby Canada Hall of Fame.

So far, the building and roof have been constructed, and mechnical, plumbing and electrical were installed in the recent weeks.

However, the majority of interior work, such as drywall and painting, as well as both interior and exterior finishings, still need to be completed.

Once complete, the facility will allow Rugby Canada teams to train at a single location. But until then, it’s business as usual for the players, who will begin training at facilities around the region shortly.

“It [the delay] just means that access to that resource will be pushed back. It will have a trickle down effect, which is unfortunate,” said Myles Spencer, chief operating officer with Rugby Canada. “Our team of staff will be working feverishingly to get the facility in a state where it can be utilized by the athletes.”

The Al Charron National Training Centre was named after one of Canada’s most distinguished rugby stars and will be the latest addition to the existing Rugby Canada headquarters at Langford’s Westhills Stadium.

The federal government chipped in $2.9 million for the centre, with the City of Langford providing $1 million in land costs with another $1.5 million to be repaid over the course of 15 years. Rugby Canada raised the remaining $2.6 million.

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

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