The Snuneymuxw First Nation and the Regional District of Nanaimo are looking to team up to develop a multi-purpose sports court in the Cedar area.
The regional district board approved a motion at its regular meeting last month that could see both governments enter into a contribution agreement for upwards of $120,000 of federal gas tax transfer money.
The deal is subject to completion of a long-term use agreement and an agreement with the Union of B.C. Municipalities on the gas tax fund transfer, according to Alec McPherson, regional district director for Cedar.
McPherson said the idea was born out of discussion with Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley after the Cedar skate park opened. The two groups agreed it would be beneficial not to duplicate each other’s activities in terms of recreation facilities.
“We got to talking and discovered he had a lacrosse box that was not in the best of shape at the moment and some of the pavement had subsided and things like that,” McPherson said.
The court, located off MacMillan Road on Snuneymuxw land, won’t only support lacrosse – it will be able to accommodate tennis and basketball as well. Having the multi-purpose court would mean families wouldn’t have to travel into Nanaimo for basic recreation services, according to McPherson.
“The plan is to phase it in over a period of years, but first we’ll get it usable and maybe at a later date, we’ll add a cover and lighting and things like that, as monies become available. So the plan would be, is that we’d ultimately have [an asphalt] surface … which would change the dynamics for kids in this area rather dramatically,” said McPherson.
The director said he hopes to have the court in place by the middle of 2015.
Snuneymuxw band council must also give approval, but according to Coun. Michael Wyse, it hasn’t been brought to the table yet.