On your mark, get set, go!

New $3.5-mil­lion track and field fa­cil­ity an­nounced for Bridgetown

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE - BY LAWRENCE POW­ELL THE SPEC­TA­TOR BRIDGETOWN, N.S.

A $3.5-mil­lion ath­let­ics track com­plex will be built in Bridgetown at the site of the re­cently de­mol­ished Bridgetown Re­gional High School.

Nova Sco­tia Pre­mier Stephen Mc­Neil and West Nova MP Colin Fraser an­nounced the funds Dec. 20 in the board­room of the com­mu­nity’s for­mer town hall.

Fraser said the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s in­vest­ment of just over $1.1 mil­lion will build on Bridgetown’s sport­ing legacy. That money comes through the Small Com­mu­ni­ties Fund. The re­main­der, $2.3 mil­lion, will be in­vested by the provin­cial gov­ern­ment, said Mc­Neil.

The com­plex will in­clude one ar­ti­fi­cial turf sports field, one nat­u­ral grass field, an eight-lane track with jump­ing run­ways and pits, and other ameni­ties to host provin­cial sports ac­tiv­i­ties.

“This modern track and field fa­cil­ity will in­crease ath­letic op­por­tu­ni­ties for nearby stu­dents, res­i­dents, and vis­i­tors for gen­er­a­tions to come,” said a me­dia re­lease.

“These in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture have been crit­i­cal to our area here in West Nova, and it boosts our eco­nomic pros­per­ity, cre­ates jobs, and makes a higher qual­ity of life for all of our peo­ple,” Fraser said. “I’m so pleased that the ru­ral in­fra­struc­ture lens that our fed­eral gov­ern­ment has taken has re­ally tar­geted small com­mu­ni­ties, and we know how im­por­tant that is.”

He said those in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments are also about en­sur­ing healthy and ac­tive lifestyles for peo­ple of all ages. “For our kids, for our se­niors, for ev­ery­body,” he said. “It’s so im­por­tant that we have healthy peo­ple in or­der to en­sure suc­cess­ful com­mu­ni­ties.”

Ex­cit­ing

“It’s an ex­cit­ing build for this town, for this part of Nova Sco­tia,” said Mc­Neil. “It will be a one-of-akind fa­cil­ity in west­ern Nova Sco­tia. When I look around and see all these young peo­ple here I look for­ward to see­ing you con­tinue to train.”

He noted there are about 30 youth from as far away as Yar­mouth and the South Shore who come to Bridgetown to train.

“We’re hop­ing that by build­ing this new fa­cil­ity that not only will we con­tinue to see you thrive in your ath­letic feats,” he said to the young ath­letes, “but we’ll have the chance to wel­come young men and women from all across Nova Sco­tia to come and par­tic­i­pate in sport­ing events at the new sports field.”

Sev­eral young track ath­letes and coaches at­tended the an­nounce­ment, along with le­gendary lo­cal track coach Bill Hir­tle, now in his 90s, and Dick Camp­bell, who coached track for 30 years. Bridgetown was home to Nova Sco­tia Sports Hall of Fame in­ductee Howie Jack­son and the train­ing spot for Olympian Jenna Martin.

Camp­bell was part of a lo­cal com­mit­tee that, with mu­nic­i­pal re­cre­ation di­rec­tor De­bra Ryan and oth­ers, spent more than a year con­tribut­ing to the fa­cil­ity de­sign.

“I think this is just great. We’ve been look­ing for some­thing like this ac­tu­ally for a num­ber of years,” Camp­bell said in an in­ter­view. “To have it come all like this, and to be an ar­ti­fi­cial sur­face and so on, it’s go­ing to help this area tremen­dously. We’ve been meet­ing since last year. We would meet prob­a­bly two times a month and we’ve gone over ev­ery as­pect of it. Tak­ing down the old school was a dif­fi­cult thing, but we wanted to add some­thing that would re­place that and help the new school that’s there now. We put in a lot of time.”

LAWRENCE POW­ELL

An­napo­lis County War­den Tim­o­thy Habin­ski, Nova Sco­tia Pre­mier Stephen Mc­Neil, and West Nova MP Colin Fraser re­cently an­nounced a new $3.5-mil­lion new ath­let­ics com­plex for Bridgetown. Sev­eral young track ath­letes at­tended the event. The out­doors fa­cil­ity will be built on the site of the for­mer Bridgetown Re­gional High School.

LAWRENCE POW­ELL

The new track and field com­plex at the site of the old high school in Bridgetown will con­tain an ar­ti­fi­cial turf sports field, nat­u­ral grass field, eight-lane track with jump­ing run­ways and pits, and other ameni­ties to host provin­cial sports ac­tiv­i­ties. The $3.5-mil­lion fa­cil­ity will be built within the year.

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