TRURO, N.S. – Community support is needed to make major upgrades to a Truro sports complex a reality.
The TAAC Revitalization Committee recently held an open house to discuss its plans for rebuilding the Truro Amateur Athletic Club Grounds and is now moving towards the next stage of the project – fundraising.
“It’s at a point right now where it is 100 per cent a capital fundraising project,” said Brian Wood, president of the TAAC Revitalization Committee.
“Everything in terms of agreements with the town, what we need, what it’ll look like and the scope of the project is confirmed and well understood. At this point, the only roadblock we can see so far is the finances and funding.”
The project, started in 2015, aims to upgrade the grounds, located at 57 Golf St., by adding an all-weather football/soccer field surrounded by an eight-lane synthetic running track and a regulation throwing area.
In its current state, the grounds don’t meet the standards needed for some sports, leaving Truro unable to host its own NSSAF district or regional track-and-field meets, and forcing other sports like soccer, lacrosse and rugby to move to other locations.
“We’ve got athletes training in inadequate, and in some cases you could say unsafe, facilities, and it is putting us at a disadvantage to other communities,” said Wood.
“Not only at a training standpoint, but certainly when it comes to competition. We will never see large competitions come to our town as long as we have the worst facilities in the province.”
The committee has outlined their fundraising goals on the TAAC Revitalization site (taacrevitalizationproject.ca), citing $6 million as the cost of fully overhauling the grounds as well as building a new ball diamond in a new location, replacing the current one.
“The reason that is our goal is that’s the price tag to allow us to purchase everything we needed at a turnkey price tag and to get it done properly,” said Wood.
“The intention is we don’t want to cut corners or pat ourselves on the back for something that down the road isn’t going to be everything it needs to be. We want to provide a championship, national competition quality facility for every sport.”
The fundraising goals outlined online are split into three categories, allotting $2 million from business sponsorships, government grants and community support donations.
To help gather sponsorships and community donations, the committee is breaking into smaller committees to bring more awareness and understanding to the project from businesses and the public.
“Realistically we’re in the hardest spot possible right now in any fundraising campaign, which is getting those first few people on board at a very significant level,” said Wood.
“The reality of the project is its not going to start until the money is in the bank. We really want to speak to companies who would be interested in supporting the project, as it’s an opportunity to support a good cause while also being an opportunity to advertise.”
The committee is hoping to raise the money in time to reach their target dates for construction, which is 2018 for the ball diamond on Argus Drive, and 2019 for the TAAC Grounds.
“The actual construction phase is not that long,” said Wood.
“Both of those projects can be done in one Maritime construction season. Those are six- seven-month projects. So if we can get enough for the ball diamond by March 2018 that leaves us with a year and a half for the TAAC Grounds.”