Tofino strives for $1.7M outside sports activities courts upgrades

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Tofino District workers are vying for improvements to outdoor recreation and recently submitted a $1.7 million proposal to the city’s municipal council.

Tofino began preliminary budget discussions at a special meeting on November 24, which included a presentation by April Froment, Director of Community Services, and Aaron Rodgers, Director of Infrastructure and Public Works, making their case for upgrading the Village Green athletic fields presented to the city.

“This project was originally intended to just improve pedestrian access and replace some fences, basketball hoops and the like. When we got down to assessing the state of the court, it became a larger project,” Froment said.

She said a preliminary design of the upgraded space had been completed and the work would be carried out in conjunction with upgrading water infrastructure along Neill Street.

The $1.7 million plan includes replacing a water line and upgrading the current tennis courts, including pickleball lines, a new basketball court, improved parking and a new sidewalk connecting 3rd and 2nd streets.

Froment said the current basketball court is in decent condition, but the tennis court “has serious subsurface challenges that would require replacing not only all of the asphalt but also the subsurface material, so it’s quite extensive.”

She added the project would provide wheelchair access to both plazas, as well as better pedestrian connections.

“Currently there is no sidewalk on this street,” she said, adding that motorist sightlines along 2nd Street could pose hazards to pedestrians without a sidewalk. “It’s pretty tight there.”

count. Sarah Sloman asked how the trees in the area would be affected.

Froment replied that “there are a number of larger trees in the area” and that it is hoped to keep them all.

“As you know, trees can be affected as soon as you dig in and around roots. That’s hard to say at this point until a little more detailed work has been done,” she said.

She added that construction would begin in 2023 if the council approves the project, and staff plan to return to the council with a more detailed budget in the near future.

count. Tom Stere said he was “really excited” about the project.

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