A long-time local community centre should be closed, demolished and converted to green space, a report prepared for Brandon City Council in advance of this coming Monday’s Council meeting recommends.
According to the report, the centre as it stands has both structural and air quality risks that require action in the face of inevitable further deterioration. An option to undertake repairs that would restore the centre to its full 143-person capacity would cost in excess of $130,000. A separate option for repairs that would allow a capacity of 40 people would come at a cost of $60,000 - $100,000. Alternately the cost of closure and demolition is estimated at $70,000 - $100,000.
Park Community Centre, 1428 Louise Avenue
The City’s 2019 Recreation Facilities Master Plan noted that changing community priorities alongside building wear and tear have created a challenging environment for community centres to remain as relevant as they once were. The plan recommends reducing the number of community centres in the city to five and focusing on renewing those five centres. In addition to closure of the South End Community Centre in 2017, the plan recommended the closure of both Park Community Centre as well as Central Community Centre.
The report to be presented to council on Monday recommends that Park Community Centre be decommissioned in 2020, upon which time Community Services staff would work with the Central Council of Community Centres, the Park Community Centre Board as well as the public to arrive at next steps for future community use and access of the space. If closed, three additional community centres as well as the Cultural Resource Centre in the city's A.R. MacDiarmid Building are noted as options within 2km for displaced rentals and workshops.
A decision on the centre's fate may however not take place this coming week, with Rosser Ward Councillor Kris Desjarlais saying on Friday afternoon that he intends to at Monday's council meeting table making a decision until there has been opportunity to discuss the matter with area residents.
The Recreation Facilities Master Plan recommends reinvestment in each of the North End, East End, Green Acres, Valleyview and Westridge Community Centres including the development of new larger multi-purpose facilities at the former three. Over the past year, East End and Valleyview celebrated meaningful updates to their respective indoor and outdoor spaces that much better position each to serve community needs for many years going forward.
Updated: Dec 13, 5:10pm. Added reference to comments by Councillor Desjarlais