March 17, 2016 - 6:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Kamloops council has approved $50,000 to renovate a building at Exhibition Park downtown to turn what city staff call an underutilized field house into a new clubhouse for the Kamloops Rugby Club.
Initially the 2016 supplemental budget included plans for the rugby team to have a long term home at the Tournament City Ranch, with money put towards a temporary clubhouse installed this year, but city recreation director Byron McCorkell says club representatives decided the Exhibition Park alternative was a better option for now.
“We believe we have a solution that will get the club the facility that they need that is within closer proximity to the kids that they’re trying to get into the club,” he says. “We’d see this as the next fix for rugby for quite some time.”
McCorkell says the $50,000 budgeted for the temporary clubhouses will instead be put toward renovating a building near the field on River Street and a future clubhouse at Tournament Capital Ranch will be put on hold. The field house is underutilized as people using the baseball fields nearby use a different clubhouse.
He says the soccer field at the park will be modified to work for rugby games. Two soccer fields being built in Aberdeen would offset the loss of one field downtown. The fields built at the Tournament Capital Ranch would still be used for soccer and rugby tournaments, but day-to-day rugby activities would be downtown as temporarily the rugby teams will be using the yacht club building south of the field near the river.
The club's website says games this weekend will be at Exhibition Park with temporary posts in place.
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