The St. James Civic Centre in Winnipeg is getting a multi-million dollar make-over.
The more than 50-year-old Ness Avenue recreation centre will be upgraded with more than $13 million in funding from all three levels of government announced Friday.
“The St. James Civic Centre expansion will enhance our community and benefit residents of all ages, and all three levels of government came together to make this project a priority,” said Kirkfield Park MLA and Manitoba Finance Minister, Scott Fielding, in a joint release.
The expansion work will include new multi-purpose program and meeting rooms, a dedicated administrative space for the St. James Assiniboia 55+ Centre, a community kitchen, and improvements to the auditorium, main building entry and washrooms.
“After submitting our project application almost two years ago, today’s announcement represents a long-overdue investment from all three levels of government into the health and wellness of residents in a growing part of our city,” Bowman said in the release.
“The expansion of the St. James Civic Centre will provide a home for the St. James Assiniboia 55 Plus Centre and will help people remain connected, healthy and active.”
There was no word on when the new work will get underway.
The federal government is providing $5.2 million for the project from its Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, a more than $180-billion plan for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities over the next 12 years.
The provincial government is adding $4.4 million in funding, and Coun. Scott Gillingham, chair of the city’s finance committee says the city’s $3.5-million contribution comes on top of a $10-million municipally-funded renovation project already underway at the centre.
“These critical investments will ensure the St. James Civic Centre remains a community hub for healthy, active living for residents of all generations,” Gillingham said.
In response to Friday’s announcement, Manitoba’s Opposition NDP told Global News the provincial Tories have “dragged their heels,” as families in St. James and the surrounding areas have waited three years for the upgrade.
“Families in St. James and Assiniboia deserve a government that prioritizes the needs of their community and gets local projects done on time,” said NDP MLA for St. James, Adrien Sala.
–With files from Rosanna Hempel