TRURO – Things are starting to ramp up for the TAAC Revitalization Project.
Brian Wood, the project manager, said the committee has gotten close to $1 million in commitments to the project, which is expected to cost about $6 million.
“Wilsons just committed $50,000 to the project, and after that, it would be the CC Rider Soccer Club at $15,000,” said Wood, about major donations made public. “Our target is $2 million from the community, $2 million from corporations, and $2 million from government, but we believe the available government funding will exceed our target.”
The project really started to gain some ground in 2016, after a group of people got together to revamp the grounds. An exhaustive study was done around the location and alternative locations. Information was presented to the Town of Truro council, however Wood said funding wasn’t there.
“A tremendous amount of great work had been done on the study,” he said, adding those involved, such as engineers, donated time to the project.
At the time, Wood was on the periphery of the project, but then became involved with the plan of turning it into a capital project, with applications in for grant money.
The project would see the TAAC Grounds on Golf Street (across from the Truro Golf and Country Club) renovated into an eight-lane synthetic track and all-weather, multipurpose sports field for multiple user groups – track and field, soccer, football, rugby, and lacrosse, for example.
“There will be multiple marking on it,” said Wood. “Over to the side (closer to the golf club), there will be a quality throwing area for javelin and shotput, with a proper cage. That would allow us to hold major events, like Legion Nationals.”
The challenge, said Wood, is the facility can’t currently host some events.
“We can’t have our own track and field districts. We have to go outside – we’re hosting them in Stellarton,” he said. “With this project, we’d have the potential of hosting major events, up to junior nationals. It would be the same thing for others like soccer, football, and lacrosse. There are a whole lot of events we can’t even bid to host, because we don’t have the facility.”
The revitalization project would see another major change to the TAAC Grounds – the elimination of the baseball diamond. The committee has found an alternate location – Argus Drive – and plans are in place to move the diamond to that area.
“There are just too many sports here in a single space,” said Wood. “This just necessitated the move of the diamond.”
Knowing something would have to be re-located, Wood said all options were explored, including moving the track.
“The challenge with having the baseball diamond here at the grounds is that it’s actually not big enough. It’s a senior ball field, but it’s not regulation size.”
In looking at properties, Wood said it was difficult to find free land the size they needed, but the Town of Truro has been “fantastic” and donating the land in-kind.
“In conversations with the town, they’re not using it anymore. It used to be their transportation department’s storage area,” he said.
While the committee is seeing some movement on the capital campaign, Wood said it’s a three-year project. As soon as a significant amount of money is raised or committed, construction will begin. He said it would take seven or eight months once things get started.
“The ball diamond will be first, for sure,” he said. “When we started on this project, we already determined it would be done when the first amount of money was raised. It has to happen. We made the commitment that nobody would be left without a sport or a season.”
To keep up to date on the project, follow the TAAC Revitalization Project page on Facebook, or visit taacrevitalizationproject.ca.