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Abbotsford City and School Board Reach Agreement on Operating and Maintaining Four Synthetic Turf Fields

Abbotsford – APRIL 17 UPDATE – The City of Abbotsford and Abbotsford Board of Education have reestablished a new 30-year joint-use agreement for the operations and maintenance of the four synthetic turf fields on the school district’s property.

In addition to a new cost-sharing structure for field maintenance, the operating and licence agreement includes an annual assessment of each field to guide planning for end-of-life replacement and maintenance. With a new agreement in place, the field at Abbotsford Senior Secondary will be reopened to use by community sports groups and funds will be allocated for turf replacement on one of the synthetic fields at W.J. Mouat Secondary School, which has been closed since September 2021.

“As a Council, we value recreation and support facilities, amenities and activities that connect us. Ensuring proper maintenance and enhancement of these fields not only supports our local school athletes, but also the many community sports organizations in need of a space to train and play,” said Abbotsford Mayor, Ross Siemens. “We are very happy to have renewed this partnership with the Abbotsford Board of Education and to extend the use of these artificial turf fields for the future.”

“Our Board has a longstanding history of working with the City to benefit not only our students, but the entire community,” said Shirley Wilson, Chair of the Abbotsford Board of Education. “Our Board has always supported community access to our educational and recreational facilities, fostering a vibrant and active community.  This renewed agreement highlights our ongoing commitment to this vision. Together, we are ensuring that these fields will continue to serve as a valuable resource for our students and the broader community for years to come.”

The agreement entered into by the Board and the City gives the City overall responsibility for the management, administration, booking, operation, custodial services, maintenance and repairs of all four fields, overseeing access to the fields during evenings and weekends throughout the school year and full time during the summer. Annual maintenance costs are estimated at $40,000 per field, which will be split equally between the City of Abbotsford and the Abbotsford School District. Any capital improvements or end-of-life field replacements will be funded at 65 per cent by the City and 35 per cent by the School District, which aligns with each organization’s respective level of use and access to the four fields.

In early 2023, City and School Board staff renewed discussions to undertake replacement of the synthetic turf and supporting amenities at the fields on Abbotsford School District lands, three of which are situated between W.J. Mouat Senior Secondary and Colleen and Gordie Howe Middle school, with the fourth on the grounds of Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

ORIGINAL STORY April 13 – On Tuesday April 16, Abbotsford Council is expected to green light the agreement of maintaining and potential replacing (due to age and wear) four synthetic turf fields on school property.

It’s a 30 year agreement.

The schools are W.J. Mouat (3 fields), Abbotsford Secondary.

From the Council Agenda for April 16, 2024 – Item 7.3 :

FINANCIAL PLAN IMPLICATION
There is $300,000 allocated to the Field Replacement Program in the 2024 capital budget to
fund the design work required for the synthetic turf field renewal of one field. Presumably, the
City and the Board will agree that MRC1 field, which is immediately west of Mouat Secondary
School and is fully closed to all users due to the unsafe condition of the playing surface, will be
the first field scheduled for replacement. Once the Agreement is fully executed the design work
for this project will begin along with condition assessments of the remaining fields for future
facility and financial planning purposes.
For reference, the field designated as MRC1 has a replacement value of $1,000,000, as the
current field construction does not include a shock pad underneath the synthetic turf. This shock
pad layer has become a standard component of synthetic turf field construction in recent years
in an effort to provide the best possible playing surface with the care and health of participants
as the primary consideration.
Finally, Council is the sole authority governing the fees and charges related to the community
use Access Times outlined in the Agreement. The City typically generates approximately
$25,000 per synthetic turf field per year in fees related to community use. As currently set, this
average annual revenue exceeds the City’s portion of the Annual Maintenance and Operating
Fees associated with the Agreement

2024 Abbotsford Council Synthetic Turf Field A – April 16
2024 Abbotsford Council Synthetic Turf Field B – April 16

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