Fundraising may be off to a good start for the revitalization of the Victoria High track, but construction could still be a long way off, according to committee members.
“Right now, we’re at almost $200,000 that we have raised for the project. But the first phase we anticipate will cost $1.5 to $1.6 million. So to say anytime soon, [it won’t be] this summer, we’ll need a little bit more time,” said Randi Falls, principal at Vic High.
The $6-million project will be completed in five phases, the first of which includes replacing the current grass field with all-weather turf and adding lighting.
According to Keith McCallion, with the Victoria High Alumni Association who also sits on the project steering committee, construction dates depend on the amount of funding they can raise for each phase.
“We’re probably looking at five to seven years to get it totally completed,” said McCallion.
He noted that he expects the project to reach the $250,000 mark by the end of the summer.
“We’re in the process now of raising funds for phase one and it’s our hope that we can get that phase underway by late 2016, early 2017,” he added.
Other track upgrades include the construction of field houses that teams can use for equipment storage, an eight-lane 400-metre track and stadium seating.
“That’s part of the reason we’re doing it in phases. We’re doing it in logical progressions. We’re just getting some momentum with our fundraising,” said Falls, adding that fundraising is their main focus now.
Most of their donations have come from alumni, fundraisers, and $100,000 contribution from Bays United Football Club.
The City of Victoria has also agreed to match the amount raised by the Victoria High Alumni Association to a maximum of $250,000.
Once completed, the track will serve students at the high school, neighbouring schools and community groups.
To donate to the project, visit vichigh.sd61.bc.ca.