Wakefield, Que community centre makes ‘huge step’


by Trevor Greenway on June 17, 2010

The Wakefield community centre is inching toward reality. The Wakefield-La Peche Community Centre Co-operative announced June 13 that it has put out a call to tenders for construction of the centre, a phase that co-op president Steve Sabean calls, “a huge step.”

“This is something we have been working toward,” said Sabean. “It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work.”

Earlier this year, the Low Down reported that the centre’s building cost had come in  higher than expected, about $3.9 million as opposed to the $3.2 million estimated earlier.

According to Gwen Shea, the project co-ordinator, the budget surplus was the result of  the co-operative attempting to accommodate public input, as well as addressing programming and size constraints. Since then, the footprint has been reduced to its original 15,000 square-foot layout and it is now within budget. Even so, Shea is glad the co-operative explored its expansive options.

“We tried,” said Shea. “I’m glad we took the time to do that.”

The tender documents will be opened on July 10 at 9:30 a.m. and will give the co-operative a solid idea of the actual costs to build the centre. Shovels will likely be in the ground some time this summer.

In other news from its annual general meeting June 13, the co-op announced three open spots for board member positions. Two members, vice-president Ned Ellis and board member Janet Christiansen were re-elected, and Dirk Nielsen came on board to represent the Wakefield Recreation Association.

The new 15,000-square foot community centre will feature a gym, library, youth centre, outdoor hockey rink/skateboard park, as well as meeting rooms, exterior courtyards and pedestrian walking trails.

To check out the design of the building, visit the Wakefield-La Peche Community Centre Co-operative website at www.wakefieldcentre.ca and click on “the project.”