$3.3 million track and field facility will ‘finally’ be built beside Mississauga high school
Published March 13, 2023 at 4:58 pm
A new, badly needed track and field facility that’s been talked about for some five years is finally going to get built beside a north Mississauga high school.
City of Mississauga Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish appeared relieved more than anything else at last week’s meeting of general committee, where councillors gave a unanimous green light to a $3.3 million lit sports facility to be built right next to Ascension of Our Lord Secondary School in Malton.
The joint-use facility featuring an artificial turf field and synthetic four-lane track is being built by the City in partnership with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.
Each partner will pick up $1.65 million of the $3.3 million price tag. The facility, which is to be used by the school and school board during school hours and open to use by scores of others across Mississauga on evenings, weekends and holidays, is on track for a 2024 opening, according to City staff.
True to form, Parrish, in whose ward the joint-project is located, didn’t mince words in expressing her relief that the project is finally leaving the starting gate.
“This has been worse than birthing five elephants. I’ve never seen anything take this long,” the councillor said, noting that unrealistic expectations of school staff and an initial reluctance of the school board to part ways with its share of the cash led to numerous delays.
Celebration for the students of Ascension SS in Malton! A joint use agreement was signed between the City and the Catholic Separate School Board to put an artificial track and soccer field on Anaka Park. Funding will be shared. Second track for Malton! Lincoln Alexander tendered! pic.twitter.com/4IfmgpY7Cz
— Carolyn Parrish (@carolynhparrish) March 10, 2023
“We had the money in the bank, we had the designs done, we did what would fit (on the relatively small parcel of land)…,” but still common ground wasn’t being found with respect to what exactly the sports facility would look like, Parrish explained.
“So, this has been a battle royal. It’s not that we didn’t want to do it, it’s not that we didn’t do 25 drawings, it was the principal kept saying she wanted six tracks, she wanted a dome. I mean, look at the site. So, anyway, it is finally going through.
“I’m making a big deal out of this because it was four, five…years of fighting,” Parrish continued. “And the sad part is they have fabulous kids there. They go to ROPSSAA (Region of Peel Secondary Schools Athletic Association) and they win everything all the time, they do really well. Track and field is a strength there. And they were practicing running on terrazzo floors in the halls. They were practicing high jump in the parking lots on pavement, and a lot of them got hurt and dropped out. And there are kids who went through that system that could’ve had a track five years ago, so that’s why I’m making a big deal out of this.”
A report from Jodi Robillos, Mississauga’s commissioner of community services, recommending the facility proceed concluded that such “shared-use facilities are a cost-effective strategy for providing access to new park facilities.”
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