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Tofino strives for $1.7M outdoor sports courts upgrades

As we got into the assessment of the court condition, this has turned into a larger project

District of Tofino staff have been courting outdoor recreation improvements and recently presented a $1.7 million proposal to the town’s municipal council.

Tofino began preliminary budget discussions at a Nov. 24 special meeting, which included a presentation from Director of Community Services April Froment and Director of Infrastructure and Public Works Aaron Rodgers pitching their case for updating the town’s Village Green sports courts.

“This project was originally just to improve the pedestrian access and replace some fencing, basketball hoops, that type of thing. As we got into the assessment of the court condition, this has turned into a larger project,” Froment said.

She said a preliminary design of the upgraded space is complete and the work would be done in conjunction with water infrastructure upgrades along Neill Street.

The $1.7 million plan includes a water main replacement and upgrades to the current tennis courts, including pickleball lines, a new basketball court, as well as improved parking and a new sidewalk linking 3rd Street to 2nd Street.

Froment said the current basketball court is in decent shape, but the tennis court “has serious subsurface challenges that would require not just the entire asphalt to be replaced, but the subsurface material as well, so it’s quite extensive.”

She added the project would create wheelchair access to both courts as well as better pedestrian connections.

“Currently that road lacks a sidewalk entirely,” she said, adding the sightlines for drivers along 2nd Street can create hazards for pedestrians without a sidewalk. “It’s quite tight there.”

Coun. Sarah Sloman asked how trees in the area would be impacted.

Froment responded that “there are a number of largish trees” around the area and the hope is to retain them all.

“As you know, once you get into excavating in and around roots, trees may be impacted. It’s hard to say at this point until a little bit more detailed work is done,” she said.

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

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

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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