Seniors centre takes ‘positive’ step forward

Council voted in favour of conducting a feasibility study on building seniors or affordable housing as part of a proposed seniors centre.

Mission seniors are one small step closer to having a new facility.

On Monday, council voted in favour of conducting a feasibility study on building seniors or affordable housing as part of a proposed new seniors centre.

The seniors centre/housing project would be located on the Mission Leisure Centre grounds and also include 7682 Grand Street, a property recently purchased by the district.

The Mission Association for Seniors Housing (MASH) has been contacted and indicated an interest in the overall project.

The feasibility study will be paid for using a grant from CMHC.

Coun. Danny Plecas called it a good opportunity to do the study, considering it won’t cost the district anything. He added that “seniors are anxious to see something happen.”

The study should take two to three months to prepare.

“It’s about time we started on this process. We’ve been talking about it for years and years and nothing has really happened so it’s a good positive step forward,”said Coun. Jim Hinds.

Bob Ingram, president of the Mission Seniors Centre Association called it a “good day” and a “step forward” for the new facility.

“The secret now is to keep the momentum going. It’s very gratifying to see it starting to come together. Starting to see some progress in the process and I think the seniors association membership is now seeing something that has the potential of coming to fruition. It’s very positive,” said Ingram.

He said that, in the past, seniors would be looking at all these different possibilities and ideas for a centre, but never really felt like any action was taking place.

“This time it’s gone beyond looking at possibilities. There is a site. There is a process with respect to looking at some form of housing, that’s in place. And we will have a process whereby we can start planning the details for a seniors centre.”

Even if the plan for housing does not work out, Ingram said the centre can still be built on the property.

“A seniors centre is looking more definite than it has ever looked in the process.”

The concept for the proposed facility has it being operated by the Mission Senior Centre Association, but with programming that would go beyond seniors themselves.

“I would hope all age groups would be in there for one reason or another at different times,” said Ingram, who called it a multi-generational site.

But he quickly added that some space within the facility would be dedicated solely to seniors programs.