by Timothy Schafer
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily
The outdoor elements have won in the poll to see what people prefer for the re-imagination of Campbell Field at South Slocan.
Over half of the people (57 per cent) who responded to an online poll indicated that a multi-activity development that makes use of outdoor amenities — with some respite from the weather — was a better fit for the community than one with an indoor focus.
That second option (of two) included: a full-size soccer field; track and field amenities; field house; basketball and tennis courts; splash pad; skate park; bike pump track; and park space.
The online voting process for the community began late last fall when the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) compiled two “high-level options” for the field, located halfway between Nelson and Castlegar at the highway junction.
Despite the result of the poll the project is still far from being ready to go, with conversations to come with the students and staff at Mount Sentinel School, said Walter Popoff, Area H director.
“But I believe that what is presented in this concept will support the recreation goals of the community, for now and for generations to come,” he said in a press release on Friday.
The outdoor focus of the second option contains a building with a large activity space the size of a high school gymnasium, and a large roof-covered outdoor space for sport and performance.
There is less significant parking requirements with the second option and more outdoor sport and activity space.
Now that one of the options has been chosen a cost estimate will be developed for the concept, including capital costs — the cost to build the facility — and operating costs of how much money it will take to run the facility.
In addition, a site plan will be developed showing outdoor amenities and where the recreation facility will be situated.
Six years ago Campbell Field — located adjacent to Mount Sentinel Secondary School — was gifted to the regional district by the South Slocan Sports Association.
The association had owned the field since the 1930s when it was acquired from West Kootenay Power. Thanks to a covenant on the title of the property it has always been used for sports and cultural activities.
Popoff saw the potential for the field as a location for recreation development since it was a central location for many people in the RDCK.
“The ability to satisfy the recreation needs of area residents is a great opportunity that we need to explore. This is a great gift that we have been given,” he said.
Two years ago RDCK Recreation sought feedback from the community through several surveys to compile a list of the community’s priorities and preferences for indoor and outdoor recreation, resulting in 1,200 responses.