Council pursues community centre option

The old St. Joseph's School in Vanderhoof could potentially be used by the town as a multi-shared community centre

If you designate it, they will come.

The old St. Joseph’s School in Vanderhoof could potentially be used by the town as a multi-shared community centre, council decided at a pivotal meeting on Monday, Oct. 22.

The school features a gymnasium, a kitchen and about eight classrooms that could be used for meetings.

“We think this is a great opportunity and we think this is the way we should go,” said Councillor Kevin Moutray, a member of the community centre committee.

Over the next five weeks, administrative staff from the municipal office will collect information on the social needs for a community centre, the school’s operating costs and if renovations will be required to use the building right away.

A final report of the findings will be presented to council on Dec. 10, with discussions about long-term lease rates possibly occurring afterward.

“It’s not to make a commitment, but whether we are going to continue a process,” said Mayor Gerry Thiessen.

The town has been without a multi-shared community centre for about three years.

Since then, group events, recreational programs, conferences and congregations have been organized at different locations scattered across town.

“Without a permanent place, it has been very difficult to run programs,” said Tom Clement, chief administrative officer of Vanderhoof.

Although the school is used by the St. Joseph’s Parish as a gathering centre, it remains underutilized for the most part, said Reverend Douglas Jeffrey.

“I think it would make a great community centre,” he said.