City of Nanaimo councillors Bill Bestwick, left, Jim Kipp, Sheryl Armstrong and Mayor Bill McKay break ground at the site where a covered lacrosse box will be built at Harewood Centennial Park. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

City breaks ground on covered lacrosse box in Harewood

$2.4-million project will see current playing surface replaced and twinned

Harewood Centennial Park will become a happening place for lacrosse and other sports.

City of Nanaimo councillors, along with school district representatives, broke ground today for two new multipurpose courts, one of them covered, at the park off of Howard Street.

The existing lacrosse box will be replaced in its current location, and will be twinned with a covered box.

The project phase is budgeted at $2.4 million and is slated to be completed in October or November.

Coun. Bill Bestwick, chairman of the city’s parks, recreation and wellness committee, said so many people were influential over the years in pushing for the project. The Harewood Neighbourhood Association, city council and staff, local consultants, contractors, engineers and user groups collaborated, according to a city press release.

Bestwick said not only will the playing surface be used by a variety of sports groups, but the additional dry floor will relieve pressures at the city’s arenas where lacrosse and hockey overlap.

“[We’re] trusting that these facilities will be extremely well-used for this area and beyond for generations to come…” he said. “This is truly one of the exciting things that we get to do on council and that’s to bring fun, enjoyment, togetherness, families, neighbourhoods, people, events, activities together.”

According to a city press release, the total 23,356 square feet will accommodate many user groups and will allow parks and rec to offer programs there such as pickleball, roller hockey and roller derby.

“This park, it’s already a destination for many of the residents in the Harewood community and this is just going to add more interest and more experiences to this park,” said Mayor Bill McKay.

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