It looked like it might be a close call there for a while, but the new Walsh Field is a go for this year and is planned to be at least partially finished this summer.
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Friday at 1 PM with a light lunch served.
“The four sport disciplines that are involved will be there, so football, soccer, lacrosse and track,” says Micky Fangan, who is the coach for the Bonnyville Bandits and one of the key players in getting the new field to fruition. “We will have all the major donors that were involved, the MD, the town of Bonnyville, the Catholic School board and a number of volunteers that have come to the table.”
Fangan says the identity of the anonymous donor who bankrolled most of the multimillion dollar project will be revealed at the ceremony too.
The new Walsh Field almost got set back another year due to permit issues a while ago. Uncertainties around drainage for the new field resulted in delays in applying for one. Fangan told council in late March that work needed to begin by mid-April for an August 1st Ribbon cutting, but it appears that’s changed.
“In a perfect world, if the weather cooperates, the FieldTurf representatives will be here and their dates for delivery are on June 15th, so by that day we have to be ready for the actual FieldTurf to be installed. By July 1st we should have our field.”
After that will begin the installation of the running track, which might have to wait until next year to see events. Once it’s ready to go, Bonnyville will be able to host sanctioned track meets.
Fangan is thrilled to see things coming together.
“I’ve been married to this project for about a year and a half. Every detail has been massaged in my head and my heart for a long time and to see it get to this point is very exciting. We’re going to be ready to turn a shovel on Monday morning. I’ll be emotionally involved all the way to the end because it’s been quite a ride. Now people are going to see something tangible on the ground, it won’t be just talk. For me, to be able to benefit the community the way it’s going to benefit, it’s very exciting.”
Other plans for the new field include a new scoreboard, several new out buildings and stands for about 1,500 people.