Nearly a dozen people use the new field at F.H. Collins Secondary School in Whitehorse on April 28. The new running track at the school has been temporarily closed off to the public beginning June 23 as it undergoes its final stage of construction. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

F.H. Collins running track on final stage of construction

The track was closed to the public beginning June 23 for crews to rubberize the surface.

The new running track at Whitehorse’s F.H. Collins Secondary School has been temporarily closed to the public as it undergoes its final stage of construction.

The surface of the track is being rubberized, the Yukon government said in a press release June 19, with the work expected to be complete in time for the 2020-21 school year.

The area was closed off to the public beginning June 23.

Closing the track at this time of year for the work would allow for the shortest closure possible, according to the press release, as the rubber being put on the track requires temperatures to stay above 10 C in order to set.

Once complete, Athletics Yukon is planning on registering the track to World Athletics standards so that it can be used for national track-and-field meets in he future, as well as hosting elementary and high school competitions at the territorial level.

Community services minister John Streicker and education minister Tracy McPhee, in the press release, both lauded the track and the benefits it would bring to the local community and athletes.

“Physical activity is key to a healthy, active lifestyle. We’re so excited to see the final phase of the F.H. Collins track underway,” Streicker said. “This will bring world-class running facilities to our community for the first time and I look forward to athletes of all ages and abilities using it.”

“This modernized facility will expand physical education and sport opportunities and enhance the Riverdale Educational Reserve,” McPhee said. “It will also provide a great venue for community recreation that supports the health and wellness of students, families and all Yukoners.”

The track is part of a larger $8.2-million project that will see a new track-and-field complex at F.H. Collins, which will also include facilities for steeple chase, long jump, high jump and shotput.

The federal government covered the majority of the cost, with the Yukon government chipping in $2 million.

“The athletics facility, with its new rubberized track, is unique in Whitehorse and in Yukon,” Yukon MP Larry Bagnell said in the press release.

“I am proud to know that our athletes and residents can train and keep fit and healthy at this excellent facility. The Government of Canada recognizes that strategic investments in public infrastructure, including sports and recreation projects such as this, will ensure that our communities remain among the best places to live, work, and raise a family.”

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Track and field