Chopped trees lined the area surrounding the site of the future Rosewood Sports Field Thursday as politicians announced the official start of construction on the project.
Rosewood Sports Field will be the first full-size soccer facility in the north end of West Kelowna.
“We have a shortage of playing fields in the district, we hear that all the time from the demographic that uses them,” said Mayor Doug Findlater.
“West Kelowna identified this project as a priority in the 2012 budget…it will provide opportunities for practices, games and tournaments for about 1,100 children in the Westside youth soccer society, students in School District 23 and men and women who compete in adult soccer leagues.”
The district will fund $508,000 of the $908,000 cost from its reserves.
The Central Okanagan School District and the DWK have worked together on planning development of the site, which will include an adjacent elementary school. Both the school and field are set to open in September 2014.
Central Okanagan Board of Education chair Moyra Baxter said the project serves of a good example what can be accomplished when governments combine resources.
“Elementary school students will truly reap the benefits of this partnership by having access to a first-rate, full-size soccer field for physical education and play,” said Baxter.
The provincial government is providing $400,000 for the sports field construction through the Community Recreation Program.
“A lot of times, there aren’t really the school facilities (available),” said Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart.
“We transport our kids over to the Mission Sports Fields, out to Rutland or out to Lake Country. This is going to be a new opportunity for the Westside.”
Stewart added the new West Kelowna field is the type of project the province had in mind when it announced $30 million in funding through the Community Recreation Program.
“We wanted to support projects that support healthy living and community engagement for British Columbians. Fields like this play a significant role in that.”