The townships of Chapple and Morley have big plans for the federal grants announced last week for recreation facilities in their communities.
“We’re excited about it,” Heather Oltsher, chair of the Chapple rec committee, said of the announced $64,174 in federal funds earmarked for there.
Chapple wants to construct wheelchair ramps and wheelchair-accessible washrooms at its community centre, as well as upgrade the heating and electrical systems.
A new kitchen will be built downstairs so the centre can host two events at the same time.
“The wheelchair access is the main thing,” Oltsher said, noting Chapple has an older population who regularly attend dinners at the hall and many find using the stairs difficult.
More exit doors also will be added in keeping with the increased use of the hall.
“The exit door is too far away, especially if you have 400 people in here,” Chapple Reeve Bill Clink said. “It’s a really nice building but it wasn’t designed for what we use it for.”
The building originally was the town’s curling rink, but now is used for community dinners and even funerals.
The renovations are expected to total $192,522.
The township also has applied for provincial funding through “SuperBuild” to help cover the cost, and will invest municipal funds as its share.
Meanwhile, Morley received $20,000 from Ottawa to replace playground equipment, flooring, and a portion of the roof at the Stratton Community Centre.
The parking lot also will be expanded.
The improvements will bring the building into compliance with health and safety standards as well as enhance the facility, which presently supports the community hall, curling rink, baseball diamond, clubroom, skating rink, and a playground.
The township will contribute towards the project’s total cost of $60,000.
“Arenas and community centres are fundamental to our quality of life in Northwestern Ontario,” local MP Robert Nault, who also is minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, said last week in making the funding announcements.
“I am pleased that the Government of Canada recognizes this and, as a result, we are making these important investments to our communities,” he added.
Construction for both projects is expected to be completed by 2003.