Seniors and youth in Mission are going to get additional space for programs.
The district will start work to develop a community centre with dedicated space for each group.
On Sept. 11, 2017 council voted unanimously to direct staff to move forward on completing a scope of work for an estimated $3 million project to develop a community centre to provide dedicated space for both seniors and youth next to the existing activity centre.
The new facility will provide separate space for each group while accommodating community and recreation programming and events.
The project includes building a new two-storey structure to the south of the existing activity centre. This additional space will complement the 6,000 square feet of programming space at the activity centre and provide almost 10,000 square feet of space for seniors programming, a long-term goal of the Mission Seniors Centre Association.
The decision follows consultation with the Seniors Association and a steering committee made up of youth and seniors and an architectural review of the existing activity centre.
The architectural review indicated renovations could be prohibitively expensive given the post and beam style of construction used for the centre, originally built as a temporary fire station.
Staff and stakeholders will now work with architects to develop a scope of work and identify opportunities for funding to offset the overall cost of the project.
“We are pleased to be moving forward on this important project,” said Mayor Randy Hawes. “Seniors and youth need dedicated space, and as a district we have a need for more space for programming and events. This project delivers that much-needed space, supports an improved quality of life for seniors, and provides an important place for our youth to connect in positive ways.”
Bob Ingram, chair of the Mission Senior Centre Association called the decision “great news.”
“I’m very pleased about it and I think our membership will be equally pleased. There are people in the organization who have worked on it for some 10 years and to see it finally come together, you have to feel pretty good.”
Ingram said the new building will be connected to the existing facility by a covered walkway.
The bottom floor will be for youth and the top floor – which will be level to the existing building – will be the seniors part.
“It provides the opportunity for specifically dedicated youth programs, for specifically dedicated seniors programs and also provides the opportunity for the two getting together for joint programs. It’s the best of both worlds,” said Ingram.
While pleased the project is finally moving forward, Ingram said he realizes the scope of the project may not “meet everybody’s agenda.”
“There will be people saying we shouldn’t be doing that and there will be people saying it’s not enough. You are going to get both ends of the spectrum.”
However he believes this is a step in the right direction.
“It will meet the whole need of trying to get that multi-generational process in place. It’s pretty gratifying to see it come together.”