The City of Nanaimo looks forward to next summer’s sports seasons, but in the meantime, there’s lots to do, including $864,000 of plaza work in the short term.
The city’s finance and audit committee recommended increasing the budget for the stadium district plaza – the area between Serauxmen Stadium, NDSS Community Field and Rotary Bowl – from $350,000 to $1.16 million. The city will pay for the project by reallocating money already in the five-year financial plan, most notably by delaying plans to install artificial turf at the baseball stadium.
Art Groot, director of facility and parks operations, said since the city identified NDSS Community Field as a location for a mid-size stadium, it’s taken another look at plaza development.
“It really was about looking at the stadium district as a whole and coming up with ideas around that central access to the multiple venues,” he said.
While discussing conceptual designs about where seating and amenities should go, it became evident that water and electrical servicing should be located along the same corridor, Groot said. So rather than build a plaza and have to tear it up, “it’s really a concept of future-proofing,” he said.
The plaza will include a pathway, ticketing area and gathering space and the scope of the project will also include water servicing, sanitary and storm sewer servicing, electrical work and removal of an exisiting utility building.
A staff report noted that previously approved stadium improvements included safety netting, bleacher seating, perimeter fencing, a press box and temporary washrooms and change rooms.
Groot said the city needs to have certain improvements finished by the end of spring in time for baseball season.
“There’s a lot of work that we really need to have in place and complete,” he said.
The finance and audit committee unanimously recommended the budget increase for the stadium plaza work.