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Community to vote on St. James Collegiate track plan

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The St. James-Assiniboia School Division wants to start talking track.

The division held the first of two public meetings Tues., Jan. 29 over plans to install a full size, 400-metre track behind St. James Collegiate.

"It’s the only high school without a track," said division superintendent Ron Weston.

The division wants to build the track, which will cost an estimated $450,000, directly behind the school and will require about 35 metres of land from Bourkevale Community Centre to accommodate the plan. Weston is hoping to sign a joint-use agreement with the city to encroach on the land. In turn, the division would build a soccer pitch for Bourkevale directly south of the track, Weston said.

Weston noted a full track will help St. James Collegiate students train and compete at the provincial level more effectively, and will have a measured benefit for the community.

"It’s a real enhancement to the recreational facilities of both Bourkevale and St. James Collegiate," he said.

Bourkevale president Gary Kristiansen said the community will have a chance to vote whether the club cedes use of the land to the school division.

"The club felt that it’s too big a decision to be made by eight or nine people and it would be best if the community helped with the decision," he said.

Voting will be held Thurs., Feb. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the club. Voters must be 18 and reside in Bourkevale’s catchment area.

Kristiansen wouldn’t divulge whether he supports the project or not, but added he, along with Bourkevale’s board, will be taking part in the vote.

"The will of the community is what we’re going to support," he said.

The next public meeting will take place Tues., Feb. 5 at St. James Collegiate at 7 p.m.

For more info, and to view the plans, visit www.sjsd.net.

matt.preprost@canstarnews.com

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