The Comox Valley Regional District and Comox Valley School District will revisit the possibility of resurfacing the Vanier running track once the school term begins next month.
The track, slated for resurfacing this summer, had also been included in last year’s budget. Anticipated costs were about $660,000, shared between the CVRD and School District 71, but the facility turned out to be in worse shape than expected.
“From the district’s perspective the costs exceeded what was budgeted for,” school board chair Tom Weber said in an interview. “We will need to re-evaluate through the fall.”
Only one of five pre-qualified contractors submitted a bid of nearly $1.3 million on the project, according to a report from regional district CAO Debra Oakman.
“This is quite specialized work,” SD71 director of operations Ian Heselgrave said Tuesday at the CVRD committee of the whole meeting.
The track was originally constructed in the 1960s and resurfaced in the ’80s. It is used by physical education classes, the public, the Comox Valley Cougars Track & Field Club, the Comox Valley Road Runners and other groups. It has hosted provincial and Summer Games’ levels of competition.
Noting the work could be completed with the money at hand, Heselgrave said the two parties need to consider whether they want the track to serve high schools or attract bigger competitions. He said the school district had considered breaking up the contract, in response to a suggestion from Comox director Tom Grant.
“I would suggest we get more than one bid,” Grant said.
An option is to restructure the work into a site prep/asphalt underlayment contract and a resurfacing contract.
The CVRD and SD71 have a replacement fund to maintain the track. Oakman said another $149,000 is in reserves for the project. She also noted a Nov. 2 deadline to apply for a Western Diversification grant.
In the meantime, lanes one and two will likely be closed for the next school year.