Left to Right: Randy Semenek (Principal ACI), Irene Marks (Gestur’s sister), Borga Jakobson (Gestur’s mother), Krisitnn Jakobson (Gestur’s son), and Arlene Perry (ACI former principal), cut the ribbon, officially opening the new ACI track dedicated to Gestur Jakobson Sept. 26. (Submitted Photo)
Arborg Collegiate Institute made sure its new track oval got off to a running start at its grand opening ceremony Sept. 26.
More than 150 people attended the ‘‘wonderful event”, celebrating years of hard work in making the track and soccer pitch a reality, ACI Principal Randy Semenek told The Interlake Spectator Sept. 29.
The newly paved track was dedicated to the memory of Gestur Jakobson, a former ACI pyshical education, who built the original cinder track at the school. His family was in attendance during the ceremony.
Semenek noted the project had been in the works for six years.
“Shelly Burak a teacher from Arborg Early Middle Years and Tom Chwaliboga, Arborg-Bifrost Parks and Recreation director saw a need to revitalize the track and formed a committee. Former ACI principal Arlene Perry and parent Judy Nichol quickly joined the committee,” Semenek explained.
“The total project cost approximately $250,000 with equipment still needing to be purchased. Money was raised through grants, personal and corporate donations and a lot of fundraising,” Semenek said.
Semenek said the project’s completion shows how well the community works together.
“This track and soccer pitch is a great example of what community partnerships can accomplish. This track will benefit not only our school programming but the entire community. We are already seeing benefits to our phys-ed classes and it will be an incredible asset to our athletics program,” he said.
He added ACI students were looking forward to using their improved outdoor facility.
“Students are very excited about the track and soccer pitch. Previously the field was under water and all but unusable. We are already planning events for the new soccer pitch and track.
The school will install a donor board in its south hallway to acknowledge the contributions of everyone who financially supported the project.