Calgary track and field athletes will have a dashing new space to jump, throw and run with the start of a southwest facility redevelopment.
The city of Calgary is set to start the Glenmore Athletic Park track and field redevelopment. It won’t be a renovation of the prior track though. Instead, it will be building a new one in the southwest corner of the current area.
Florent Le Berre, with Calgary Recreation, said the project will bring a modern look to the area. The current facility is 60 years old.
“The athletic park was built actually in 1962. The track itself has had some sub-structure failure. It’s becoming costly to maintain, and this project will bring modern standards that the community can enjoy,” said Le Berre
The project will include a 400-metre, eight-lane running track, a throwing sports area, and an interior natural turf multi-sport field. The existing bleachers will also be relocated.
Work will start on the $12 million project in June. Completion is expected by July 2023. That’s later than initially anticipated. On the city’s webpage for the project, it does say that supply chain issues for specialized equipment may impact the project scope and timeline.
“The construction will go on until November this year, then we’ll have a winter break, we’ll resume in April next year, and it will be completed by July (2023),” said Le Berre.
Important improvement for athletic park users
Calgary Track Council vice-president, Dale Schoenthaler, said this project is a positive one because the current one is quite old.
“[The new Glenmore Athletic Park Track and Field will] revitalize the use of Glenmore track in many ways. From hosting more school events there to making it more user-friendly,” he said.
“From the designs that I’ve sat in on, it’s supposed to make it more para friendly, meaning, for all the para-athletes that have disabilities.”
The Glenmore Athletic Park Track and Field will not be the only project that the city is going to be working on.
The City of Calgary also has a redevelopment plan for the Foothills Athletic Park. A request to get that project going will be submitted for the next four-year budget cycle in November.
“In an ideal world, we would have two high-quality track and field facilities at both athletic parks. We also have a redevelopment plan for the Foothills Athletic Park,” said Le Berre.
“If we do get the budget for the Foothills Athletic Park, you can expect a [new redeveloped project in that location] around 2024 or 2025,” said Le Berre.
Schoenthaler believes that there should be more athletic park redevelopment projects.
“There’s a much-needed fieldhouse that is one of the top priorities for this city. This is a major thing for track and field. To be able to host a track and field competition indoors is well overdue,” he said.
“Since the early sixties, they’ve been trying to plan this, and now we’ve been looking at trying in the last 10, 15 years to actually move forward on it. I think that’s what the city really needs to look at next for athletics.”