Greater Saint John Field House on track to open next September

Construction of the Greater Saint John Field House is running on schedule and president Bill MacMackin says the state-of-the-art sports facility on the city's east side is expected to open next September.

Once complete, MacMackin said the 127,000-square foot complex will be the largest sports field house space in New Brunswick and one of the largest in Atlantic Canada.

"This will just be a great asset for the citizens of Saint John to develop themselves if they're athletes, to get themselves fit if they're just looking at ways to be more healthy, and to have a place to get in out of the winter weather when they want to play some sports," he said.

The structural steel has been in place at the Exhibition Park site for about a month and the roof is "substantially done," he said.

Crews have started working on the exterior concrete block walls and the goal is to have the building fully enclosed with metal siding by January.

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The $26 million project will include two indoor turf fields, each measuring 60 metres by 30 metres, and a 200-metre indoor track. It will be the first east of Montreal, enabling the region to host national track events.

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The complex will also house changing rooms, a fitness facility, multipurpose rooms, a community centre and daycare operated by the YMCA of Greater Saint John, as well as some administrative office space.

A constructed wetland, built to support the storm draining requirements of the site, will also serve as a park space with walking trails.

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MacMackin expects the field house to be complete by August 2019 and operating by Sept. 1.

Construction began in February with excavation work.