Several notable changes can be seen when passing by McLeod Athletic Park, including a new bright blue track.
The park, located between Murrayville and Milner, has been undergoing more than $5 million in upgrades since last summer in preparation for the national track and field and BC high school shampionships.
Andrew Lenton, commissioner for the BC High School Track & Field Association, said when it came time to resurface the track the organization suggested the municipality consider blue.
“There’s been a number of upgrades to the track as well as just the resurfacing… I think it looks really sharp and I know people have driven by there have commented, that it just looks really fantastic, the new colour, as well as obviously the brand new surface,” he told the Langley Advance Times.
Lenton says this would be the “busiest time” for athletes, but COVID-19 has suspended all programs.
“We would have over 200 athletes at that track on any given day,” he estimated.
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New Langley track at Mcleod Athletic Park looks great!! pic.twitter.com/98MAURV21t
— BCHS Track and Field (@bchstrackfield) May 20, 2020
In April, Athletics Canada announced the 2022 and 2023 Canadian Track and Field Championships would be returning to British Columbia, for the first time in nearly 20 years, when they awarded the event to the Township of Langley.
In addition to hosting the national event at McLeod, the site will also play host to the BC High School Championships next year, which Langley previously hosted in 2017 and 2018.
“Those are two of the largest track and field events in the entire country, so within the next coming years the community and the facility will play host to… at the high school level and the senior level,” Lenton noted.
Besides a new track surface, the $4-million project saw McLeod gain a four lane 60-metre warm-up track, an additional long jump pit, an expanded high jump fan, a new shotput area, an additional pole vault area, extra security fencing, and a new designated spectator areas for the field events.
The Township staff said they coordinated with the newly renovated Langley Secondary School, adjacent to the park, to maximize parking in the area.
The parking lot can now accommodate 222 vehicles and includes six drop-off/pickup spaces.
A large entry plaza has also been built on the west side of the grandstand with two new ticketing kiosks for future events.
The grandstand building received approximately $1.2 million in upgrades, including upgrading four stairways, repairing sections of the concrete structure, replacing the roofing membrane, upgrading the skylights, and installing a new safety system for maintenance access.
The Township estimates the grandstand roof and structure improvements will be completed by the end of 2020.
The upgraded track and field facility is not yet open to the general public as work continues to complete the project, the Township notes.
But the track facility at Walnut Grove Community Park is open for public use.
“If it doesn’t open in July, then unfortunately… we would lose the entire season,” Lenton said. “But that’s just a result of the pandemic.”