PEI

UPEI closes artificial turf soccer field after report says turf is done

UPEI has closed its artificial turf soccer field after an engineering firm recommended the turf be replaced immediately.

Engineering firm recommends immediate replacement of turf

UPEI has closed the artificial soccer turf after a report recommended the turf be replaced immediately. (CBC)

UPEI has closed its artificial turf soccer field after an engineering firm recommended the turf be replaced immediately.

The decision came after university officials received the findings of the engineering firm's report. The firm was hired to conduct an assessment of the current state of the field. 

"The assessment indicates that the UPEI Artificial Turf Field does not meet current industry performance guidelines, does not have any useable life left, and immediate replacement is recommended. Therefore, UPEI came to the difficult decision today to close the field, effective immediately," said Jackie Podger, Vice-President Administration and Finance. 

"UPEI was looking forward to hosting our various community user groups at the UPEI Artificial Turf Field this spring and summer," said Podger. 

"In the interest of safety for all users, we felt that closing the field was necessary and the responsible thing to do."

Podger said community user groups have been made aware of the situation. UPEI is working with them to find other venues for their events.

Earlier this month, the The P.E.I. Soccer Association withdrew an opportunity to host the Under-16 National Soccer championships after it could not guarantee to the Canadian Soccer Association that the artificial turf at UPEI would be replaced by October.

At that time, UPEI had been denied assistance from the City of Charlottetown to help with the cost of replacing the turf. 

Podger said at the time over 80 per cent of the users of the turf were Island community groups and residents. 

UPEI did not provide any timeline on when the turf would be replaced. Fundraising is ongoing to acquire the necessary funds to complete the $900,000 project. 

Podger said they were hoping to find funding partners to help.

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