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‘It’s not a Cadillac, but it’s still a good project’: Councillor prepares plan B for new Dakota sports field

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City Councillor prepares plan B for new Dakota sports field – Mar 13, 2017

WINNIPEG — St. Vital City Councillor Brian Mayes said plans to bring a turf field to Dakota Collegiate may not happen after the cancellation of a government grant, but a plan B could still move the project forward.

Mayes said replacing the turf with natural grass could help the project make up the $1 million lost after the province announced it would not be funding the project Friday.

“If we don’t have enough to do artificial turf, we’ll do grass,” Mayes said.

Shovels were expected to hit the ground in May, and the turf field was anticipated to be ready to play on by September. Organizers of the Dakota Collegiate Recreation Sports Field said they would need to raise $600,000 by May in order to go ahead with turf plans.

READ MORE: Better Winnipeg: Dakota Collegiate plans for new athletic field

“I’m optimistic we will make the bare minimum,” volunteer with the project Rick Watts said.

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So far, the project has raised $1.5 million, which includes donations from the community, and a 1.18 contribution from the city. If the project doesn’t go ahead, money from the city would go to waste.

“We’re really at a tight deadline here. We have five to six weeks to raise an additional $500,000 to $600,000,” Watts said.

Mayes said the city money will be spent no matter what.

“It’s not a Cadillac, but it’s still a good project.”

The recreation space was one of two sports projects cancelled by the province.

Kelvin High School is planning on expanding their existing gym, which they say it too small. Shelden Rogers/Global News

Kelvin High School was also notified the conservatives would not be funding their $6.7 million plan to bring a new gym to the school.

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RELATED: Dakota Collegiate’s outdoor basketball court to be named after former coach

“We were surprised to see that late Friday afternoon buried in an announcement that was about windows doors and roots,” Chair of the Winnipeg School Division Sherri Rollins said.

The community has already raised $1 million for the project, and Rollins said she won’t let the money go to waste.

There is no timeline as to when the construction on the new gym will begin.

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