Dollard-des-Ormeaux residents were invited on Thursday to the official opening of their newly expanded Civic Centre on de Salaberry Boulevard.
With at least 25,000 users per week and an increasing number of activities at the centre, the bigger space was badly needed.
“Well, you know, there’s more and more ah, little old ladies and little old gentlemen,” jokes Christine Peschl as she waits for friends to play Scrabble in the new lounge near the entrance.
The new structure is 16,000-square feet which more than doubles the size of the entire complex. Built on the northern side of the old portion, it includes two floors plus a basement.
“There are more meeting rooms and more larger rooms for bigger events,” explained DDO Mayor Alex Bottausci. “There’s a rooftop terrace where vegetables are planted. The plan there is that the seniors will take care of it for us, and we’re planning to get some youth involved.”
Energy savings is a big part of the design. A geothermal system was built to heat and cool the building.
Project manager Erick Laliberte explains that “with that specific system, we’re saving up to 40 per cent of energy, compared to the standard-sized building.”
The entire project cost $5.5 million, more than 90 per cent of which came from the federal and provincial governments as infrastructure grants. Construction was completed last summer.
Users like art teacher Jacinta Ionno are thrilled because some new rooms were built with the needs of arts-and-crafts classes in mind.
“So there’s a sink and there are work tables that have been set up against the wall.”
The additional space will make it possible to add more classes to meet the growing demand.
But though Peschl loves the new space, she isn’t completely satisfied. With the expansion, there’s one class she wishes the centre would’ve added.
“Yes, step aerobics,” she jokes. “They can’t have it because there’s only five or six that tried it. “So, I was very disappointed,” she grins.
Maybe one day.
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