Track renewal collaboration


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In a typical running relay, four runners must pass the baton between them before the final runner gets over the finish line. After a four-year process, I am pleased to say that four elected representatives from this area have collaborated to fund a running-track renewal project in Windsor Park.

The current ‘track’ is a 300-metre dirt oval that, we think, dates to the early 1970s and which, with ongoing weed growth, appears to be returning to the elements. After the City of Winnipeg funded a new 400-metre track at Victor Mager School in St. Vital in 2019, I became interested in the track shared by Collège Béliveau and Windsor Park Collegiate, as students from new parts of my ward, such as Sage Creek, Royalwood and Bonavista attend these schools.

In 2019, it was estimated that it would cost $503,000 to pave and rubberize the track. By 2022, this estimate had increased to $600,0000. Meanwhile, tracks have been rebuilt in Garden City and River East while we attempted to get funding for Béliveau/WPC.

Supplied photo

Collège Béliveau principal Andrea Kolody, MLA Audrey Gordon; Brian Mayes; Béliveau track team members (with their coach), MLA Andrew Smith are pictured on the dirt running track that will be paved and rubberized this summer.

The Louis Riel School Division expressed support for the project back in 2019. In 2022, the federal government provided about $7.5 million through its Economic Response and Recovery Plan (ERRP) to be allocated by city councillors across the city. I have used my ward’s share of these funds, with the support of MP Dan Vandal, to fund an upgrade of Fountainview Park in Royalwood, and modernization of Bonivital Soccer Club’s clubhouse at St. Vital Memorial Park, on Fermor Avenue. Earlier this year, Minister Vandal authorized $285,000 in federal funds for the track project, and I have added $15,000 from city funds.

This left the province in the role of running the “anchor leg” to provide the final $300,000 for the project. I am pleased to say that MLA Audrey Gordon (Windsor Park) and MLA Andrew Smith (Lagimodiere) came through on May 16 with $300,000 in provincial funding through the Building Sustainable Communities Grant program for the Collège Béliveau Parent Advisory Committee, which has been a key partner in this voyage. Kudos to these two provincial ministers for making time to listen to my (repetitive) lobbying on behalf of this project.

Work to rebuild the track, with paving and then rubberizing, is planned for this summer. It won’t be a full-length track, but it will be one of only five rubberized outdoor tracks in the city.

I look forward to running an opening relay this fall, when the track is ready (hopefully with my old high school running coach, Gerry Cleave, who was based out of Windsor Park). The track will serve students from my area, as well as the broader Windsor Park community. It has taken a team effort to make this project happen, and I want to thank Dan, Audrey, and Andrew for their belief in the track idea.

Brian Mayes

Brian Mayes
St. Vital ward report

Brian Mayes is the city councillor for St. Vital.

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