Hall made new

The Maryborough Community Centre was officially re-opened last week after a major renovation project.

Rejuvenation of the 51-year-old hall has been on the radar of local council members since at least 2012, when roof replacement and a “retrofit” were identified in the  township’s master plan for recreation.

After several attempts to attract grant funding from upper levels of government, the project was granted $259,800 from the province through the Ontario 150 Community Capital Grant Program.

 Roughly $800,000 worth of renovations include accessibility ramps inside and outside the hall, washroom and kitchen area improvements, a new HVAC system and roof work, as well as upgrading of the two-level auditorium and addition of a patio at the rear of the facility.

But what it also means is a cherished small-town gathering place has been not only preserved, but modernized to fit the needs of future generations.

At an open house to relaunch the facility on July 12, Mapleton councillor Marlene Ottens pointed out the community centre was originally built in 1967, Canada’s  centennial year, so it seems appropriate that it has been restored through grant funding provided in a year celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary.

“We are hoping that it’s a new phase for this hall and it will see lots of bookings,” said Ottens. “We’re hoping that generations to come will enjoy this beautiful hall.”

It appears now that they will, thanks to some foresight and persistence from members of the last two councils.