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Recreation review findings released

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Scatliff + Miller + Murray unveiled some grand plans for Elmwood.

The architectural firm had worked with the city of Winnipeg on the Elmwood Community Recreation Review, and it released its findings at an open house at Elmwood High School on Jan. 31.

The results were based on ten consultations with residents, including discussions about what residents want to see as the "big picture", as well as specific consultations regarding East Elmwood Community Centre and the Clara Hughes Recreation Park.

Ultimately, the committee presented plans for development at approximately 20 sites along with master plans for East Elmwood, Clara Hughes, and the East End Cultural and Leisure Centre.

Elmwood resident Jason Neiser said several parks near his home are proposed to be improved, as the Clara Hughes Recreation Park, Chalmers Community Centre and the Elmwood Winter Club are all within walking distance.

"I’m excited about active living, getting people out into the community, and getting people to become a community, getting to know each other via these parks and places," he said, adding he also approves of a proposal to create a trail linking Ernie O’Dowda Park and Elmwood Park, as his eight- and 10-year-old children are getting into cycling.

East Elmwood Community Centre president Jolene Mercer was also in attendance to look at the plans. She said, though she’s seen proposals for the new centre in Keenleyside Park to replace the building that burned down in March 2011, this is the first time she’s seen them since $5 million in funding  on Jan. 22 was announced to rebuild the centre.

"I think it’ll look nice and help to revitalize the area a little bit more," she said. "We’re really excited we’re getting a full-sized gym. That was No. 1 on our list. That’s the No. 1 priority that came out of the community consultations."

"That will allow us to expand on the recreation programming that we can provide in the area."
Mercer added all components residents considered mandatory were in the final design.

Coun. Thomas Steen (Elmwood-East Kildonan) said he has already secured funding to make most of the proposals a reality, estimating that 75 to 80% of needed cash is in place. He hopes to garner the rest of the money in the near future, adding the parks will be improved in descending order based on when they were last improved.

"Most of it, we have money for now, so those are done," said Steen, noting he hasn’t yet secured funding for the East End Cultural and Leisure Centre.

Scatliff + Miller + Murray consultant-in-charge Derek Murray and City of Winnipeg project manager Ken McKim headed up the review. Both were pleased with the level of resident involvement in the process.

dan.falloon@canstarnews.com

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