Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Future of centre becoming more clear

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The future of East Elmwood Community Centre is one step closer to being decided following a public meeting held last week.
The city, along with local architecture firm Scatliff+Miller+Murray, organized the June 26 meeting to provide residents an opportunity to review proposed designs.
East Elmwood currently has $1.1 million in insurance money for the rebuilding effort. In addition, the city and province are working together to formulate a plan to fund the remaining cost of the project.


Keenleyside Park was selected as the preferred location for the new centre at previous public meetings. Proponents say it has better sight lines and more room for future expansion.


Scatliff+Miller+Murray presented three design options at the meeting. The first option includes an 8,000-sq. ft. building with a regulation size gym, small canteen, skating change area, a 36-space parking lot, and a pleasure skating rink at a cost of $3.9 million.


Option two would cost $5.7 million and include everything in option one plus 17 additional parking spaces, a half basketball court, lighted hockey rink, spray pad, multipurpose room, and additional washrooms bringing the building size to 10,980-sq. ft..


The third and final option would include a 13,031-sq. ft. building with a commercial kitchen, a 30 x 50-metre mini soccer field, refurbished baseball diamond, skateboard park, and a toboggan hill, and everything from the first two options at a cost of $7.8 million.


Area resident Steve Noel said he was impressed by the ideas presented at the meeting.


"I’m really beyond excited for the kids in the area, this is exciting," said Noel, who has lived in the area or 18 years.


Derek Murray, a landscape architect with Scatliff+Miller+Murray, said Keenleyside was the ideal location for the new club since the former EECC was in a more secluded area on Beach Avenue.


"I think this site offers all the opportunity you need to have a community centre. The old site unfortunately wasn’t large enough to expand," Murray said.


Coun. Thomas Steen (Elmwood-East Kildonan) said while there is still a ways to go to secure additional funding, he’s excited about the progress being made.


"Now we can go back and work with the province and see if we can get additional money," Steen said.


"It was quite a devastating thing that happened. I’ve been through tragedy myself and it doesn’t have to be all bad that comes out of it."


Noel said the new centre will benefit youth throughout the community.


"It will get kids off the street and into programs," Noel said. "Taking kids from a negative environment and putting them in a positive one will change things."

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adrian.alleyne@canstarnews.com

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