Mayor Randy Hawes speaks at the annual general meeting of the Mission Seniors Centre Association as Bob Ingram looks on. / Kevin Mills Photo

Mission seniors centre delayed as new questions, concepts arise

Bob Ingram steps down after announcement of possible changes to senior/youth concept

The new $3 million Mission seniors/youth centre project appears to have stalled, at least for the next few months.

Mayor Randy Hawes explained the situation to local seniors during last week’s Mission Senior’s Association AGM.

According to Hawes, the new building that was going to be built adjacent to the current seniors centre may not be big enough.

“For the first time our staff has sat down with the seniors association and gone through their activities, individually, and getting the timing down so that they better understand the spacial requirements. Given that, we may need to expand the building from where it was originally planned,” said Hawes.

The extra space would be needed to accommodate lawn bowling and floor curling.

However, that’s not the only possible changes on the horizon.

According to Hawes, a potential opportunity has arisen, to build a much larger seniors centre, about 12,000 square feet, with seniors rental apartments above it.

District staff will be asked to examine the cost associated with expanding the original proposed addition.

No matter what happens, Hawes said the new building adjacent to the current seniors centre will be constructed.

“The building down below is going to get built. The question is, is it going to get built with an expanded size? Is it going to get built as it sits? Let’s get the numbers and the drawings.”

Hawes said the district will get back to the seniors association quickly.

During his presentation, Hawes said if the bigger seniors centre concept, with apartments above, does become a reality, then the current seniors centre could become the new home of Mission Search and Rescue, while the additional building below could be the youth centre. It depends if the pieces all fall into place.

During the AGM, Bob Ingram, chair of the Mission Senior Centre Association, told the crowd that he had decided to step down from the project and not seek another term in office.

He noted that endless delays regarding a new senior centre and the slipping away of the whole concept of a multi-generational facility as factors in his decision.

“I strongly believe in that concept,” he said, adding that if the district is moving away from the idea, then he doesn’t want to be a part of it.

Ingram said the latest developments make him feel like he’s had the rug pulled out from under him.

He agrees that a youth centre and senior centre with senior apartments would not be a good mix, “but that wasn’t the concept I had been working on.”

“I feel that there’s probably a real opportunity here to do something positive for seniors in the community and I don’t want to stand in the way of that. I certainly don’t want what I’ve had as a vision for the past 11 years to interfere with getting that sorted out.”

Ingram received a standing ovation from the crowd in honour of his years of service.

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