New surface means more playing time
Nouveau terrain synthétique
John Abbott College is levelling the playing field for its sports teams and physical education classes with a new synthetic field that will also be used by Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue residents.
During a press conference held Monday morning, the school announced that a $3.1 million synthetic sports field will soon replace the existing field used by JAC Islanders football, soccer, lacrosse and rugby teams, as well as by most phys ed classes.
Funds for the project that will begin construction in August and be completed by late November came in part fromprovincial and federal coffers, as well as from the John Abbott College StudentUnion.
The school kicked in the remainder of funds.
Jacques-Cartier MNA Geoffrey Kelley, whose five children graduated from the English CEGEP, said the “necessary upgrade” would help create jobs in the region, while JAC Student Services Coordinator Dan Boyer noted the field has been on the school’s wish list for more than two years.
“This means we’ll be able to use the field from end of May to the end of November or December... because it will be synthetic, it will not get torn up like a real field,” Boyer said.
More seats and lights
The new field will boast seating for 800 spectators, as well as stadium quality lighting.
Boyer explained the existing field would be excavated before a foundation that will include comprehensive drainage will be installed. The synthetic surface will be the final piece of the puzzle.
Plans for the new field included working around a row of aged maple trees that have graced the school’s fields long before the almost 40 year old CEGEP even existed.
“The trees were planted by Macdonald College years ago to commemorate students who died while fighting inWorld War I,” said JAC Director General Ginette Sheehy. “Every November they are the site of a very moving ceremony and we wanted to be sure to protect them.”