On your mark, get set, go!
New $3.5-million track and field facility announced for Bridgetown
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.