$11.5-million Rideau Heights Community Centre nearing completion

Click to play video 'New Rideau Heights centre on budget and on time' New Rideau Heights centre on budget and on time
New Rideau Heights Community Centre contruction will be complete for the winter of 2018 – Aug 8, 2017

With a budget of $11.5 million, the Rideau Heights Community Centre is coming in on budget and on time according to the city of Kingston’s manager for recreation facilities Adam McCluskey.

“We’re looking to open winter of 2018. I was at a site meeting last Tuesday. We’re hovering right around 50 per cent complete. We’re moving into the interior and things will sort of move along quite quickly at that point.”

The centre is a partnership between the city and the Limestone District School Board, providing benefits to the school children at Rideau Heights Public School and the surrounding community. The districts councillor Mary Rita Holland says it will become home for many smaller community groups and clubs.

The district’s Coun. Mary Rita Holland says it will become home for many smaller community groups and clubs.

“It’s going to be the first of its kind in Kingston. Community hubs are spaces where community groups can come together and offer programming for low cost or no cost. ”

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The municipality has agreements with Loving Spoonful, the Seniors Centre and the Boys and Girls Club to provide programming.

The Boys and Girls Club has been offering programming in school gymnasiums in the Rideau Heights area since the 1990s.

The not-for-profit’s director of operations Tony Gargaro says the new community centre means they’ll be able to expand and improve the services they offer. ”

“This is going to have a state-of-the-art gym, state-of-the-art kitchen facilities — we do our best at those locations.
Our programming’s going to be much like it is here in the west end.”

The seniors’ centre offers 250 different programs, and consultations are still ongoing in the area to find out what services are needed and wanted.

Don Amos, the seniors’ centre’s executive director, says this opportunity will allow the organization to reach into an area of the community they’ve struggled to get to in the past.

“We haven’t had a large presence in the north end just because of the lack of facilities there. We plan on having a presence there three days a week, probably Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, during the day.”

As construction of the 20,000 square-foot facility nears completion, the municipality will soon be taking bids on planned improvements to the neighbouring Shannon Park including extending McCauley Street through the park to Wilson Street.