EDITORIAL: Stadium reno proves costly
There won’t be a podium finish for the parties involved in completing the work required to take advantage of a $40,000 grant intended to identify possible improvements to the facilities at Rotary Bowl.
While other jurisdictions crossed the finish line and received money from the provincial Community Connections program to help upgrade their facilities, Nanaimo’s school board, Nanaimo Track and Field Club and Vancouver Island University all tripped over the final hurdle to get the job done. As a result, taxpayers will be on the hook for at least $90,000 of the $135,000 study’s cost with the city, school board and VIU all contributing $45,000.
The school district learned in March 2008 it had received the grant, and with an extension, had until December to complete a feasibility study.
It didn’t happen, so the $40,000 vanished. Why it didn’t happen remains unclear, though when the opportunity presents itself to save taxpayers any amount of money, the district has a responsibility to come up with a collective plan and put it in motion.
For an organization that is constantly crying foul due to underfunding, this mis-step is unacceptable.
When grants are involved, projects should be pursued with vigour.
The track and field club, which has a reputation of fending off other user groups interested in using the public-owned facility, can also be held accountable for dragging its feet, a quality unbecoming for a track club.
Now, not only are the possible $1-million renovations starting off on the wrong foot, but the track record of the school district and other participating parties is questionable at best.