The Comox Valley Regional District board has approved a $115,000 contribution to the Comox Valley United Soccer Club to help construct a field house next to the Vanier turf field.
The money will come from a recreation grant service, which has been under-prescribed this year due to changes such as pool closures, as a result of COVID-19.
“I’m optimistic about the resourcefulness of this organization,” Courtenay director Doug Hillian, who plays with the Comox Valley Masters soccer club, said at the Aug. 11 meeting. “I certainly support us reallocating these funds which were already budgeted and haven’t been spent to benefit the infrastructure for what remains not only the most popular and widely participated in sport for people of all ages in the Comox Valley, but one of the most economically accessible sports that is available out there.”
The club had asked the district for $150,000 to build the field house, which is estimated to cost $445,000.
Area B director Arzeena Hamir, concerned about the $35,000 shortfall, asked if the club has looked at other sources of funding. The district is encouraging CVUSC to approach local service clubs.
“I think it’s really meeting the needs of the community,” said Doug DeMarzo, general manager of community services. “I think it’s largely up to them to define their end costs and how they’re going to meet that.”
He said field lacrosse and other user groups would need to go through a booking process to use the field house.
Cumberland director/board chair Jesse Ketler, who has two children who play soccer, was the lone director to oppose the contribution. She noted that the washroom at the CV Sports Centre is often not available, especially in evenings and on weekends.
“My concern is how will this new facility be managed, especially in light of COVID and the probably intense cleaning that will need to happen with the different user groups?” she said.
DeMarzo said the objective is to manage the change rooms through a key system. He added that an accessible washroom would be open for longer hours than the Sports Centre washroom.