I am very happy to announce that the City of Winnipeg will be investing $1.6-million for the potential expansion of the St. James Civic Centre.
This will accommodate the growth of the St. James-Assiniboia 55+ Centre, and provide a permanent home for the senior centre, plus added space for programming for users of the facility. Recreation and seniors’ centres play a significant role in the vitality of all communities, and St. James is no exception. The benefits associated with seniors’ centres and recreational facilities are significant to those who use them. It provides a place for seniors to have regularly scheduled activities, while also encouraging an active social life.
The 55+ Centre has been working with city staff over the last few years on a plan to redevelop the Civic Centre. Built in 1965, this building is the largest City of Winnipeg-operated facility in the western part of the city, approximately 65,000 square feet. This potential expansion would enlarge the front of the building and dedicate space for the seniors’ centre, which will bring a new and diverse use to the Civic Centre.
I have been working hard to improve services for seniors throughout St. James since being elected in 2006. Growth and expansion as a city changes is extremely important, and we know that seniors are the fastest-growing demographic in St. James. Providing better facilities and activities will benefit the community at large.
The expansion vision started in 2010, when Coun. Grant Nordman and myself contributed $300,000 to the design of the expansion project. Over the last few years, the expansion committee has developed a plan and worked hard to identify sources of funding. This additional $1.6 million commitment to the project is a big step forward to making the project a reality. The funding is contingent on all levels of government participating, as well as the St. James-Assiniboia 55+ Centre investing money from a capital campaign.
The next steps towards the completion of this project will be meetings with both the provincial and federal government to ensure their commitment to the project. I will continue to do everything I can to make this project a success. I know with the hard work of the board and the expansion committee, this will become a reality.