Headway continues to be made towards developing a major two-phase multi-purpose field and athletics facility for recreational, cultural, and cross-curricular educational purposes in the Cochrane Heights neighbourhood.

Last night, members of the Cochrane Track and Field Association (CTFA) outlined the project to town council and requested a $250,000 contribution toward phase two of the proposed project.

They will be making the same request to Rocky View County council on June 2.

The town administration will review the request and bring back recommendations to town council.

Phase 1 includes an artificial turf field, bleachers, lighting, and a score clock. Development is anticipated to begin next June and be completed by the fall of 2022.

Phase 1 is budgeted to cost $2.5 million and will be funded by a $1.2 million private donation, and $1.3 million in corporate donations and government grants.

The second phase includes a four-lane oval 400m running track and will cost an estimated $1 million. It's hoped a total of $500,000 will be contributed by the town and the county. Those funds would then be matched by a Community Facility Enhancement Project (CFEP) grant.

While the timeline for Phase 2 is to be determined, the project team has not discarded the possibility of it also starting in June 2022.

The project has been explored in the past and efforts were revived about eight months ago. In that time, a vision has been developed, and public engagement launched. Certainly, it's about school sports, but it's also about meeting many other community needs.

"We're really paying attention to the needs of everyone in our community," explained Tracy Lyons, one of the project leaders. "It's not just about the sports, although that's absolutely key. It's also about bringing people up so they can experience this and feel as though this is their space, just as much as it is anybody else's space."

She believes the possibilities are endless and points to the potential of seniors activities, outdoor drama productions, graduation ceremonies, and inclusive sports.

Besides questions on community involvement and finances, council also asked about parking and traffic congestion.

The association called it a big win to receive approval from Rocky View Schools to use the school bus parking area after school hours. They estimate there are over 350 parking spots available in the parking lots of Cochrane Arena and the school bus area. There are an additional 150 spots at Cochrane High.

It's believed the improvements being made to Hwy. 1A by the town will help address major traffic congestion issues.

"In combination with the changes on the 1A, I'm pretty confident we're not going to see a lot of big congestion," said team member Leslie Ann Kalman.