Last month the first volunteers for the Community Centre Fundraising Committee joined township staff to discuss the progress of the project. Manager of Parks and Facilities Gerry Baker provided a status report. He explained that the preliminary estimates of the revised plan incorporating changes requested by community members came in above the $15 million budget, but internal revisions have brought the tally back down below budget. The current plan includes outdoor play equipment including a structure for climbing, but the splash pad estimated at $250K has been delayed, and only the underground infrastructure will be installed in the current project. The final drawings will be presented at the September 5th Council meeting for approval, and will be on display at an Open House on September 19th from 6 to 8 pm at the township offices.
The next step is the preparation of tender documents which are scheduled to be issued in January. The Technical Advisory Committee has decided to have a pre-qualification step to eliminate unqualified bidders from submitting bids for the project, which will expedite the final tender decision. This step will screen builders to ensure they have delivered projects of similar size and complexity on time and on budget and come with glowing references.
Council is looking for tangible evidence of community support for the new community centre in the form of cash or in-kind donations to the tune of $1 million, which is included in the final $15million bill. Staff will provide a detailed list of supplies and fixtures that could be donated to offset some of the costs, such as furniture, kitchen equipment, Wifi and other items. Mayor McFadden made it clear during the meeting that shortfalls from this target will result in comparable cutbacks and possibly the elimination of some features in the approved plan.
Represented at the meeting were members from user groups including Millbrook Minor Hockey, Millbrook Figure Skating Club, Maple Leaf Cavan Football Club, the Lions and other interested individuals. Attendees were invited to brainstorm for ideas to raise cash in larger segments, such as room and ice pad sponsorship, car raffles, community concerts and special events.
At the next meeting, staff will provide terms of reference for the group as well as examples of fundraising committee structures developed by other communities to serve as examples for this local group. To join these volunteers to help make this exciting project happen, attend the next meeting of the Fundraising Committee on Tuesday September 12th at 7 pm at the Township office, when the structure and membership of the committee will be decided. KG