Miscouche rec centre slated for renovation

Community council has funding application in to province

Colin MacLean colin.maclean@tc.tc
Published on June 26, 2014

Miscouche community Chairman Peter Mallett with the Miscouche Centennial Centre. The building, built in 1973, is slated for a major renovation if the village can secure the funding. They expect to get word from the provincial government by the end of July. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer

MISCOUCHE – The Miscouche Centennial Centre is not what most would call an attractive building.

Colloquially known as ‘the rec centre,’ the two-storey building is basically a metal-sided box with a couple of doors and precious few windows.

The inside has hardly been touched since it was opened in 1973. It’s all wood paneling and is reflective of the time it was built in.

The floors, still outlined here and there with tape to mark basketball lines, is scuffed with age and use.

In fact, everywhere a visitor would look around the rec centre’s insides they would see little signs of wear and tear from use. It’s a structure that has certainly seen a lot of use, especially in years gone by.

It’s still used today.

Bingo, every Sunday.

A 140-person wedding reception is scheduled for this weekend.

A new archery program recently set up shop.

The Festival of Small Halls played a show there this year.

But all in all, the building has been on the decline.

But there are plans in the works to change that.

After more than two years of preparation the Community of Miscouche has filed an application to the Island Community Fund, a provincial program, for enough money to renovate the rec centre, inside and out.

Community Chairman Peter Mallett, said Thursday that since the village took over ownership two years ago they’ve commissioned and received an architectural study and an energy study on the building, both of which showed it was a candidate for renovation, rather than having to demolishing it and starting from scratch.

Mallett said, the residents made it clear during two public meetings on the subject that they wanted something done with the centre, so that’s what council is trying to do.

“It was important to the residents of the community … they really wanted to keep it, keep it moving and keep it an important part of the community,” he said.

He expects the total project will cost about $140,000, with the community fund grant covering about 75 per cent of that and the rest coming from other sources.

If, for whatever reason, that application for funding is turned down, he expects another meeting would have to be held to get new direction from the community.

Robert Gallant, for one, is hopeful that doesn’t happen.

He’s been the centre’s caretaker for three years and helped maintain it for years before that, as part of the Miscouche Volunteer Fire Department.

He’s excited at the prospect of fixing the old place up a bit.

“I think it’s the greatest idea in the world. Why? Things are getting a little older around here, and a fresh coat of paint and some upgrades will make this place more rentable,” said Gallant.

The community has been trying to attract some tenants to the building, and Gallant expects a refreshed looking building would make it more appealing to prospective tenants.

Anything to bring more people around the old place, would be great, he added, it’s been at the heart of the community for a long while and should remain such for years to come.

A tender for the renovation is currently out, deadline for submission is July 24 at the Miscouche community offices.