$3.4 million grant makes Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre renovation a reality
BY DENNY SCOTT
In what Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson says is the largest Investing in Canada Fund expenditure in Huron-Bruce, the federal and provincial governments are investing $3.4 million in the Brussels, Morris and Grey Community Centre (BMGCC).
Thompson announced the funds for the expansion and renovation of the BMGCC on Monday alongside Huron East Mayor Bernie MacLellan, Councillor John Lowe and members of the BMGCC building committee Doug McArter and John Van Vliet.
To cover the multi-million dollar project, the federal government is investing over $1.9 million while the provincial government is providing over $1.5 million. The remaining $1.2 million for the project will be covered by Huron East and Morris-Turnberry, which MacLellan says will be split according to existing ownership percentages.
Thompson said it was a pleasure for her to announce the funding, saying she was thrilled for the uplifting opportunity it provides. She said the funding will see the site expanded to allow for new dressing rooms that meet the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the creation of an enhanced fitness centre, as well as renovating and expanding the existing kitchen and auditorium facilities. The funding will also enable the replacement of the facility roof.
Thompson said the community makes great use of the facility, so it’s a valuable project. She said she looks forward to the community centre renovation and rehabilitation before commending the committees behind the project, specifically McArter and Van Vliet, who were second-to-none in terms of championing the project.
MacLellan said that many people deserve credit for the success, including the BMG Recreation Committee, where the project started. He said the Brussels Fall Fair, held at the site, shows how a facility like the community centre can be fully used for great community events. The fair, he said, is something to be proud of and shows what the community is capable of.
As with all projects, MacLellan said, the bottom line is the price tag and he said the community didn’t shy away from that with a fundraising study showing the community of Brussels could pledge as much as $2 million. “That shows the desire for this project,” he said.
MacLellan said soon-to-retire Huron East Chief Administrative Officer Brad Knight was instrumental in putting the grant application together that saw the more than $3.4 million coming from the federal and provincial governments. He also said the project isn’t isolated, pointing to nearby residential developments Huron East council is supporting, showing that the new facility really ties into the sustainability of the community.
Finally, MacLellan thanked Morris-Turnberry Council for their support alongside the federal and provincial governments.
McArter then spoke on behalf of the building committee for the project, one of the two committees behind the project, with the other handling fundraising. McArter said the project has been ongoing for several years and the announcement was appreciated.
He said the project has been a group effort, and he also thanked Knight for his work on the application, saying that Huron East Council and staff have supported the initiative throughout.
McArter said the committee couldn’t be happier about the announcement.
When asked, Thompson said there was no timeline on the funds for the project, saying that COVID-19 has created uncertain times and prices for construction materials and projects, and that the provincial government wanted to make sure, when the time was right, the project could move forward at “full steam”.
McArter explained the project will be tackled in two stages, first with the new addition at the east and southern parts of the building including the new dressing rooms, fitness centre and foyer. The second phase will see the kitchen and auditorium renovated with the existing western entrance changed to be part of the enhanced kitchen.