An inner-city facility is getting some much-needed love from the city to the tune of over $950,000.
Freight House, which sits at the corner of Isabel Street and Ross Avenue, will see its outdoor rec grounds overhauled in the near future following a commitment by Mayor Sam Katz to provide $952,000 in funding to the project.
Katz announced the funding at the site on Feb. 22. The money will go toward creating a new outdoor play structure, resurfacing an outdoor basketball court, adding new boards for its outdoor skating rink, adding a skateboard and BMX bike area and beautifying the outdoor areas in general.
"I think everyone here knows there can be no denying the importance of play and recreation," Katz said during his address.
He said the park at Freight House is one of the largest green spaces in the Point Douglas area.
"We want it to be a gathering space for kids, and families, and a source of pride for the entire neighbourhood," Katz said.
Point Douglas Coun. Mike Pagtakhan called the $952,000 in funding a "strong commitment that’s going to go a long way to improving the Centennial neighbourhood."
"This is one of the highest needs neighbourhoods in the city of Winnipeg," he added, offering his thanks to Katz and local resident leaders.
Allan Wise, executive director of the Central Neighbourhoods Development Corporation (CNDC), said the money is an investment in the Centennial, Central Park and West Alexander neighbourhoods.
Following the announcement, Wise said the project to make improvements to Freight House have been going on for years, with memorandums floating around as long ago as 2005.
The funding, he said, is significant, since there hasn’t been any big funding for Freight House since the 1990s.
"We’re very delighted, because we didn’t think the commitment was going to come down the pipes this soon," Wise said.
Ron Brown, president of the Winnipeg Boys and Girls Club, was very pleased with the news, as local kids rely on the green space at Freight House, as does nearby Rossbrook House.
Wise said they hope to get shovels in the ground soon.