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Proposal to install turf field at McMillan Park to go before city council

'If approved the DSBN would like to get this field going sooner rather than later so that the students and the community can start enjoying it potentially by September 2022,' says a faculty member at Thorold Secondary School
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A recent baseball game at McMillan Park. Bernard Lansbergen / ThoroldToday

McMillan Park in Downtown Thorold could soon be the host of a lot more different sports.

Thorold Secondary School is asking the City of Thorold to approve a proposal that would turn the park into a proper sports turf field.

Says Duane Kemp, co-operative education teacher at Thorold Secondary School, “We would leave the structure of McMillan Park but it would become a full turf baseball diamond along with a football-sized field we could then use for ultimate frisbee, soccer, rugby, whatever it may be.”

According to Kemp, a turf field would be a boon for Thorold Secondary School.

“For our students, the ability to have an actual full-sized field to go out and do phys ed. on a regular basis—and obviously for myself, as the football coach, giving me a better practice facility to play on—would be beneficial as well. It just something that we think would enhance our school.”

Funding for the field has already been approved by the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN), but city council must first vote on the proposal before it can go ahead.

Says Kemp, “We do have a partnership with the City of Thorold. We basically lease the land in an agreement with them. The city has a rich history with McMillan Park and obviously we don’t want to lose that. That’s why we want to work hand-in-hand with the city so it benefits everybody.”

Because of the size of the proposed turf field the splash pad at McMillan Park would have to be relocated.

“The DSBN has also said they are willing to add money to that if relocating the splash pad would put the City of Thorold’s mind at ease as well. We know that splash pad is an important part of the area because the McMillan pool used to be there before. We understand the history of Thorold.”

The proposal is scheduled to go in front of city council this month.

“If approved the DSBN would like to get this field going sooner rather than later so that the students and the community can start enjoying it potentially by September 2022.”

Kemp says that Thorold Secondary School is an important pillar of the Thorold community and that this field would strengthen that position.

“Thorold Secondary has been around for over 150 years and we know how important it is. We just feel that the turf would enhance our school, make it better for the students of Thorold and make it better for the community as a whole. We’re still keeping McMillan park, we’re still keeping that history of the baseball diamond. But we’re just enhancing it by adding the turf and making it an even better facility.”


About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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