Opening of new Glenmore athletic park delayed until late summer

The new Glenmore athletic park might look ready to open, but according to the city the sod isn't up to standard and there are drainage issues, so the opening has been delayed until late summer. (CANA/City of Calgary - image credit)

Weather, water restrictions and some needed remediation work are being blamed for the new Glenmore athletic park running behind schedule.

The $13.8 million replacement for the existing but outdated track and field facility was supposed to be ready by the spring.

But for a few reasons, the city said the new facility needs a bit more time before the gates can be opened.

The sports field inside the shiny blue eight-lane 400-metre track isn't ready for competition just yet.

Sod needs work, time

Ryan Atkinson, the manager of buildings and architecture with public spaces delivery for the City of Calgary, acknowledged the facility looks ready to go.

But the sod laid down isn't up to standard and there are drainage issues.

"You don't want to have gaps and that type of thing. So really, it's just in general, the contractor is still working on some remediation efforts, just to get it up to that standard before we open it up," said Atkinson.

Recent water restrictions imposed because of a broken feeder main in the city's northwest have added slightly to the problem. He said while untreated water is being used on the field, they haven't been able to water it as much as was hoped.

So Atkinson said they'll want to give the new sod time to fully drop down roots before various games and events are played on the multi-sport field.

He said current bookings will still be honoured, but on the existing Glenmore athletics space a short distance away.

Disappointing

The area's city councillor, Ward 11's Kourtney Penner, said she is disappointed by the delay but she understands the reasons.

The new facility has been on the city's drawing board for more than a decade and she said it replaced an existing track which is long past its expected life cycle.

She said users will notice a big improvement. It will also help attract more events to Calgary.

"That is everything from your recreational user here in the city of Calgary to the hosting of tournaments and competitions, whether they be the local level, the provincial or the national level," said Penner.

The new track is one part of an overall redevelopment of sports facilities at Glenmore Park.

A new twin arena is also going to be built by the city nearby, replacing the existing single sheet of ice at Stu Peppard Arena, which dates back several decades.

Construction on that $45 million project east of the existing arena is expected to start this fall.