COQUITLAM, B.C., Sept. 15, 2020 – In time for the fall sports season, the newly returfed Don Cunnings Field at Town Centre Park has reopened for the public to enjoy.
One of six artificial turf fields in Coquitlam, Cunnings Field was closed in July and August as crews replaced the old turf that had reached the end of its lifespan. The field, which features lighting for night games, is shared by the City, School District 43 (SD43) and Douglas College and is used year-round for sports such as soccer, lacrosse and field hockey.
Shared Field, Shared Costs
As shared users of Cunnings Field, the City, SD43 and Douglas College shared the $550,000 cost to replace the turf.
“Although this project has been in the works for several years, now is a great time to be improving our outdoor sports amenities, given the continuing advice from health experts for residents to spend time outside,” Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said. “Taking a shared approach to sports fields and other amenities also helps maximize our public land and funds.”
“On behalf of School District #43 (Coquitlam), we are very pleased to see the re-opening of Cunnings Field,” said Superintendent Patricia Gartland. “The upgrades on this shared turf field illustrate the strong, collaborative relationship SD43 has with the City of Coquitlam and Douglas College and also demonstrate how well the shared amenities at this site can benefit Pinetree Secondary students as well as the broader community.”
“Douglas College values our partnership with the City and SD43,” said Brian McLennon, Director, Athletics and Recreation at Douglas College. “Shared sporting facilities such as Cunnings Field is vital for the entire community including our Sports Science students and varsity student-athletes, as well as our youth camp and recreation programming.”
Planning Coquitlam’s Artificial Fields
Artificial turf typically has a 10-year lifespan, and Cunnings Field’s turf was last updated in 2009. The upgraded turf offers a more even surface and increased playability with the latest renewal.
The project was part of the City’s 2020 capital program. Funding for this program includes a dedicated sportfield renewal fund to implement the priorities, such as the Don Cunnings Field artificial turf replacement, outlined in the 2013-2023 Sport Field Strategy.
Two additional artificial turf fields are planned for Coquitlam, both through joint agreements between the City and SD43: construction of a new artificial turf field at Centennial Secondary next year, and construction of an artificial turf field, running track, park and other amenities at the future Burke Mountain Middle/Secondary School, which is awaiting funding approval from the province. The park component of the Burke Mountain project will benefit from a $5-million contribution from developer Wesbild Holdings.
About Cunnings Field
Located in the northwest part of Town Centre Park, the field was part of the park’s original development in the late 1980s and was renamed Don Cunnings Field in 1999 to recognize Don Cunnings.
Cunnings, who received Coquitlam’s Freedom of the City Award in 2014 for his contributions to the City and community, was a long-time City employee who rose from Recreation Director to become Coquitlam’s first Director of Parks and Leisure Services. He was instrumental in the planning and building of Town Centre Park during his 40 years with the City before retiring in 1994.
Cunnings also served the community for decades through his work in the areas of education, search and rescue, heritage preservation, physical education, recreation and other volunteer efforts.
Park Planning & Design Manager
City of Coquitlam