Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti (fourth from right), Members of Markham Council and York Region District School Board Chair Bill Crothers (fifth from right) celebrate the announcement of the new sports fields with members of the Unionville Milliken Soccer Club. (Photo – Stephanie Lake)
The Town of Markham and the York Region District School Board have partnered on the development of a major sports field complex in the Town.
"More than a thousand Markham soccer players will benefit from this agreement. When we heard that leased soccer fields on City of Toronto property at Milliken Park would be lost with the City's expansion of their reservoir, the Town of Markham and the Unionville Milliken Soccer Club joined forces to find a solution," said Ward 3 Councillor Joe Virgilio.
The Town has committed $2 million to upgrade the sports fields being built at Markham's new Bill Crothers Secondary School for Athletics & Healthy Active Living. The three artificial turf, lit fields will be located on the school's 30-acre site in Markham Centre. The new fields, to be completed spring, 2009, will mean a longer soccer season and more opportunities for night games and tournaments than at the current unlit Milliken fields.
"The popularity of soccer is at an all-time high. It's a great way for young people to get active and stay fit. Sports participation enhances the health and well-being of the entire community," said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. It has been a strong commitment of Mayor Scarpitti to add value for taxpayers' dollars. This partnership is an excellent example of how this can be achieved.
"When the Town approached us with this proposal, we saw it as a win-win for high school students and soccer players in our community," said Bill Crothers, Chair of the York Region District School Board.
Markham has more than 130 soccer, rugby, football, and cricket fields throughout the community. Markham Council has also approved the construction of a full-size lit soccer field in Angus Glen Community Park this year, which should be ready for use in the spring of 2008.
The Town of Markham currently has more than 130 Soccer, Rugby, Football, Cricket Fields in the Town of Markham. Many are shared cooperatively with the York Region District School Board.
Work is already underway on the Bill Crothers Secondary School – located on a 30-acre site in Markham Centre, west of Main Street and north of Highway 407.
This unique school focuses on the total integration of academic and sports excellence. It will attract students that are high performance athletes as well as those who are interested in sports and recreation disciplines as a career option.
The school is named for middle-distance runner Bill Crothers, who won a Silver Medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and has been a York Region District School trustee from Markham for 18 years, including 14 years as Board chair.
The Town of Markham and the York Region District School Board have developed a partnership to upgrade the school's playing fields with artificial turf and lights. This will enhance community use and mean overall improvement to the fields for school programs. Residents will have the opportunity to play soccer on three artificial turf fields five nights a week, on weekends, and through an extended season. The Town of Markham will contribute up to $2 million for these improvements.
The school and soccer fields are scheduled to be ready for spring, 2009.
The expansion of the City of Toronto reservoir and pumping station in Milliken Mills Park is slated to begin in October 2008. The new fields will replace the temporary loss of the four soccer fields on this site.
In addition, one full size lit soccer field will be constructed in 2007 in the Angus Glen Community Park, ready for use in spring, 2008.