Some projects have a large impact on an organization. Others have an impact on a community. The new stadium built at Monarch Park Collegiate will have an impact on both.
With an official-sized turf soccer field and the largest indoor track in Toronto, the new facility will be of benefit to students as well as local community members and organizations.
The project was the result of a partnership between Razor Management Inc. and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Matthew Raizenne, CEO at Razor, first approached the school in 2011 with the idea of redeveloping Monarch’s field, which had been in rough shape for a while.
After many meetings and proposal revisals, Raizenne got the deal and the go-ahead. Construction commenced in early 2012 and crews worked hard through the summer to complete the stadium in the fall, minimizing the period of time that students would be without a field.
On Nov. 23 the track was lined and on Dec. 5 it officially opened to the community. The delay in the completion date was due to superstorm Sandy and logistics with one of the suppliers.
The stadium features a full-sized soccer field, which can be divided into five ‘mini fields’. The track is just short of 400 metres in length and has four lanes. A winter cover has been installed so the facility can be used all year.
A storm-water management tank was also built under the field, and it holds 790,000 L to offset the rainwater that used to soak into the field.
Principal Cynthia Abernethy is looking forward to seeing the school’s teams improving their play and winning some championships on the field.
“The previous field was looking kind of tired and old, and now this is so amazing. The benefits are fantastic,” said Abernethy “It’s been an amazing partnership with Razor Management.”
The students, who helped with the unfolding of the massive inflatable dome, are anxious to put the facility to the test.
“Everyone is really excited at the school about this new stadium. The new field is going to be really useful,” said Helena Kita, on Monarch’s Athletic Council Executive.
The project did hit some bumps along the way, one of which had to do with a sewer that runs under the field, some nine storeys below ground.
According to Ward 30 Councillor Paula Fletcher, the City needed to iron out legal issues with Razor Management in order for the development to proceed. Fletcher played an important role, according to Raizenne, in liaising with City staff and get the project moving.
The councillor is excited to have local citizens using the track.
“Once the community gets in here and the seniors come to walk the track – that’s amazing,” said Fletcher. “Think of the exercise benefits that will come from a seniors’ walking club.”
Raizenne praised the support of TDSB staff. He also thanked the organizations that bought into the idea of the field and that have committed to utilizing the facility as anchor tenants, such as the Cherry Beach Soccer Club, SoccerWorld, and Extreme Toronto Sports Club.
“It’s a great feeling to be finished. We’re excited to have the community come in and play soccer and run track,” said Raizenne.
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It is nice to see the field being used again. I can remember back in the early 70s and 80s when the field was the most desired place to play sports in the east end of Toronto. I myself spent thousands of hours playing and training on the field and hope that in the future that the school will be able to establish teams that we were proud to be members of.