Sooke Soccer Club president Laura Lockhart at the site of the artificial turf field at Fred Milne Park.

Sooke Soccer Club president Laura Lockhart at the site of the artificial turf field at Fred Milne Park.

Turf field hits ground in April

“We hope to start digging in April, get the groundwork down, then have it done by midway August,” says soccer president

The Sooke Soccer Club is nudging its artificial turf field project forward bit by bit, with shovels expected to hit the ground in April.

“We hope to start digging in April, get the groundwork down, then have it done by midway August,” said club president Laura Lockhart, who, among other members and volunteers, fought for the last several years to make a turf field a reality.

The club managed to secure $1 million months ago, now it’s trying to raise more money for extra amenities such as lighting and fencing.

Lighting will go in first before the turf field does, Lockhart said, due to the extensive ground work required. Next step is to install fencing, which will be high on the side and rear of the field to keep balls from going into the ravine.

In other words, even when the field is done, there’s still a long way to go.

“This is why we’re still seeking out donations and sponsorships,” Lockhart said, adding that new goals on wheels and corners stands are some of the extras that need to be purchased.

Lockhart noted $200,000 “would be cushy” to cover off all project extras, which the club hopes to raise over the course of time through donations and sponsorship from the community. Bottle drives help too, with a big one coming up March 18.

Until recently, metal bins raised around $8,000 for the club, but had to be removed due to noise complaints.

As for the turf field, initial designs remain relatively unchanged, though the group decided to relocate the softball mini-field inside the main field, as its spot meant the turf field had to be thinned out.

The average lifespan for the turf field “carpet” is 10 to 15 years, with replacement costs running at $500,000, which is why the Sooke Soccer Club needs to prepare for such expenses well ahead of time, Lockhart said, adding $30,000 has to be put aside annually.

Still, Sooke’s turf field would last longer than the ones in town because of less usage.

Regardless, the project is moving forward, one way or another.

“It’s a process, and it’s a bunch of volunteers getting it done, so it takes time.”

 

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