by Timothy Schaefer
Reporter for the local journalism initiative, The Nelson Daily
The outdoor elements won in the poll to see what people prefer for the redesign of Campbell Field in South Slocan.
More than half of people (57 percent) who responded to an online survey said a multi-activity development that takes advantage of outdoor facilities — with some recovery from the weather — is better suited to the community than one with an indoor focus.
This second option (of two) included: a full-size soccer field; athletics facilities; field house; basketball and tennis courts; splash guard; skate park; bicycle pump track; and parking space.
The online voting process for the community began late last fall when the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) put together two “high-level options” for the field, which is halfway between Nelson and Castlegar at the highway junction.
Despite the outcome of the survey, the project is still a long way from being operational, and discussions with the students and staff at Mount Sentinel School are imminent, said Walter Popoff, director of Area H.
“But I believe what is presented in this concept will support the community’s recovery goals for now and for generations to come,” he said in a press release on Friday.
The outdoor area of the second option includes a building with a large activity room the size of a high school gym and a large covered outdoor area for sports and performances.
The second option has fewer parking requirements and more outdoor sports and activity space.
After one of the options is selected, a cost estimate is developed for the concept, including the capital cost – the cost of building the facility – and the operating cost, how much money is needed to run the facility.
In addition, a site plan is created showing the outdoor facilities and the location of the leisure facility.
Six years ago, Campbell Field – located adjacent to Mount Sentinel Secondary School – was donated to the regional district by the South Slocan Sports Association.
The club had owned the field since the 1930s when it was acquired by West Kootenay Power. It has always been used for sporting and cultural activities, thanks to a pact on ownership of the property.
Popoff saw potential for the field as a site for recreation development as it was a focal point for many people in the RDCK.
“The ability to meet the recreational needs of local residents is a great opportunity that we must explore. It’s a great gift we’ve received,” he said.
Two years ago, RDCK Recreation solicited feedback from the community in multiple surveys to compile a list of community priorities and preferences for indoor and outdoor recreation, resulting in 1,200 responses.
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