Credit the Langley United Soccer Association with a huge assist on the newest addition to Willoughby Community Park.
The Township of Langley, in partnership with LUSA, officially-opened the Willoughby Community Park Field House on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 12.
Located south of the Langley Events Centre in the 7700 block of 202A Avenue, the facility provides change rooms, a concession, washrooms for park users, a community meeting room, and storage spaces for local sport user groups.
In addition, the new facility includes a dedicated board room and office space for LUSA.
"This is a welcome addition to the park that will be put to good use immediately," Township Mayor Jack Froese said. "The Willoughby Community Park Field House is the most recent success story that shows how beneficial it can be when the Township and user groups work together to meet the needs of our expanding sport community."
A five-phase development plan has seen Willoughby Community Park enhanced with sports fields - including three synthetic turf fields - a playground, spray park, mountain bike park, sand volleyball courts, and a tennis facility over the past few years.
However, funding for a south field house was not in the budget until LUSA came forward with an idea to help fund and complete the project.
Township council committed $459,750, almost half of the overall $994,000 required, and a financial partnership was created with LUSA - which contributed an overall value of $364,250 - and other user groups to allow the project to move forward.
LUSA president Betty Boucas said it was only a few months ago when the groundbreaking for the project took place, and now "here we are, completed. The project is finished."
"It's amazing how quickly these projects can get finished when the community pitches in, which it has, to a fantastic degree," Boucas added.
Langley Football Club, Langley Field Lacrosse, and the Township of Langley 2010 BC Summer Games Society, which provided a $70,000 legacy contribution, all came on board to help fund the facility.
Private donations by LUSA partners including the McHale family and the City of Langley, in addition to in-kind donations by a number of companies and contractors, also contributed to the project through the soccer association.
Boucas gave a special thanks to the McHale family for a contribution, which she said, "got this project going and off the ground."
LUSA secured the services of Marco Paolella of Marcon Construction, who developed a construction plan for the building. Marcon Construction took the project lead which ultimately saved the Township money and allowed the project to proceed more expediently.
"This partnership has turned a vision into the reality of a 4,000 square foot field house, and we are thrilled to see the results of such dedication," Froese said.
Boucas said with projects like the fieldhouse adding to already existing Township sports facilities, the future of LUSA looks bright.
"The fieldhouse represents the energy, dedication, and passion of a thousand players, parents, and coaches in Langley over the last few decades," Boucas said.
"More importantly, it's a symbol of future growth of the club. It will be a rallying point as we continue building the club into being one of the best in B.C."