Tri-City News

Repairs on Best turf field during spring break

Heavy use at the Dr. Charles Best secondary field has resulted in some repairs happening during the spring break holiday.  - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Heavy use at the Dr. Charles Best secondary field has resulted in some repairs happening during the spring break holiday.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

An artificial turf field the city of Coquitlam shares with a high school will undergo repairs just eight years after it was installed.

This week, city managers said the wear and tear on the field at Dr. Charles Best secondary school has caused seam damage and turf compaction in heavily used areas such as the centre and goal mouths.

As well, some minor upgrades will be carried out by contractors during the school district's two-week spring break this month, to minimize disruption to field users.

The $30,000 repair bill will be paid by city taxpayers as the municipality is responsible for all maintenance and capital costs.

"The school district contributed the land in exchange for access during school hours," said Kathy Reinheimer, Coquitlam's manager of parks and facilities. "For this reason, SD43 wasn't asked to contribute [financially]."

Typically, a turf carpet should last around 10 years before being replaced, she said, "but, of course, the actual lifespan varies depending on the intensity of use."

"Our experts tell us that being doing this remedial work, we should get another four years out of the carpet, extending the lifespan to 12 years."

The Best field has seen its share of problems since it opened in 2004. That year, the $2-million field — partially paid for with casino revenues — failed a "pill burn" test, a durability exercise that gauges how quickly a burning object dropped onto the turf is snuffed.

As well, in 2006 and ’07, workers were on the Best field when crumb rubber pushed up after snow removals. Crumb rubber, which is made from recycled scrap tires, and silica sand are used as field infill.

In 2011, then city councillor Doug Macdonell, who chaired the parks and rec committee, noted the Best field had been deteriorating faster than predicted because of the hard use and litter from students. Council asked for a review of the shared field assets with the school district.

This July, a new sports field strategy for the city is due before council for consideration.

Of its 41 sports fields, Coquitlam has five synthetic fields, including the one at Best. In Town Centre Park, Cunnings Field was a joint project with the Tripartite Pinetree Partnership (Coquitlam, Douglas College and Pinetree secondary) while the remaining three fields are city-owned.

Port Moody has two artificial turf fields: the North Shore Park (beside Heritage Woods secondary) and Trasolini Field (behind the recreation complex). The former — a nine-year-old field — has a joint-use agreement between the city and the school district that allows students to use it on weekdays during the academic year.

City spokesperson Leslyn Johnson said there have been no significant upgrades to either field since they were installed other than minor repairs for vandalism.

A request for comment from the city of Port Coquitlam about its turf field was not immediately returned.


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