Residents in The Maples had a chance last week to add their voices to expansion talks on the Maples Community Centre.
About 100 people turned out to the centre on Tues., June 18 to take part in a design consultation covering everything from traffic, parking and the new programming they’d like to see brought to the community.
On the centre’s wish list is a new provincial league-sized gymnasium and indoor soccer pitch to accommodate a range of sports, including cricket. But many seniors in attendance said they want to see more space for their programming.
Saraswati Sewpaul, who has lived in The Maples for 24 years, says she’d like to see a new home for her weekly music class, which currently practises in a classroom at the centre’s neighbour, Maples Collegiate.
"There’s not a lot of room," said Sewpaul, 65.
There are about 20 people in the class, which began in January and has students as young as 15, said Sewpaul. The group practises singing and playing instruments like the tabla and harmonium.
Music is a big part of Hindu culture and just as important as sports, Sewpaul said. Having a larger, more private space would help the program grow, she said.
"Music is meditation, like yoga, right?" said Sewpaul.
"It relaxes your brain and takes away stress.
"It’s going so well with a mixed group, it really makes you sure that you’re doing something right," she added.
Manoj Nowrang, a vice-principal at Maples Collegiate, said the expansion is a good time to beef up pedestrian safety in the area.
Nowrang said he’d like to see several crosswalks set up along Adsum Drive and reduce speed along Adsum between Jefferson and Desharnais Street to 40 kilometres an hour.
"I see people fly by (the centre) at 60," said Nowrang, adding there’s a lack of appropriate traffic and speed signage in the area for motorists.
"It’s not very clearly designated at all."
Nowrang said he’d also like to see more entry points into the centre along Adsum, and roundabout drop off points in front of the club to help alleviate congested rush-hour traffic.
Balwant Kaur, who has lived in Maples for 13 years, said seniors like her would like to see a community kitchen to meet and pass down recipes from a variety of different cultures. She’d also like to see more spaces for seniors to gather and socialize, make arts and crafts, and have their own fitness programming.
"We want to teach each other," she said.
The club has hired Prairie Architects to conduct a feasibility study on the expansion plan, which will be finished this fall. The study will determine what existing spaces can be repurposed, reused or demolished.
The club has estimated the cost of expansions to be around $17 million, and will be bringing $1 million of its own to the table.
For more, visit http://maplescc.ca or call 204-953-1190.