New track and field infrastructure, an expanded field house and improved spectator facilities are coming to MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe.
On Tuesday, the Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA) and its community partners announced the park will receive a major $4 million expansion. MEGlobal Canada contributed $2 million to the project and will retain naming rights to the park until 2040.
“We want to give Central Albertans a place they can come to enjoy the track, compete and potentially host some top-notch competitions,” said Bruce Miller, LAPA vice chair.
“The dream of having a track here in Lacombe has been on people’s minds since the beginning of the association. … We have a strong running community here and our athletes are doing well in track and field despite not having a facility in town to train.”
Miller said the other upgrades are needed because a high number of people visit the park.
“The donation from MEGlobal allows us to get a big start on accomplishing these tasks,” said Miller.
Work on the expansion of the field house and spectator enhancements is expected to begin in spring of 2019 and the track, with field event facilities, would be constructed in 2020.
“We’re hoping to (complete construction) with minimal disruption to the programs that already take place there. Hopefully our construction can take place around slower seasons,” he said.
Miller said LAPA will work with the City of Lacombe, Lacombe County and Wolf Creek Public Schools to explore access to provincial and federal grants to cover the $2 million needed to complete the project. They will also explore fundraising and sponsorship opportunities, he added.
Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey said the City of Lacombe is “excited by the opportunity presented by this major corporate sponsorship for LAPA.
“The association has had a long history of demonstrated success, and we look forward to continuing our positive partnership with them to improve the quality of life for residents through the provision of world-class track and field facilities and amenities,” Creasey said.
Paula Law, Lacombe County reeve, said the county is “very supportive” of the project.
“The LAPA and the MEGlobal Athletic Park is a great example of what can be accomplished when dedicated groups of like-minded citizens, industry and government partners share a vision and work together on a common goal,” said Law.