Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on Har­bour Grace sta­dium deemed a suc­cess

About 30 peo­ple at­tend meet­ing con­cern­ing fu­ture of com­mu­nity cen­tre

The Compass - - Editorial - BY CHRIS LEWIS ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Res­i­dents shared ideas at a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing about how the Danny Cleary Har­bour Grace Com­mu­nity Cen­tre should be put to use.

The meet­ing was held at the com­mu­nity cen­tre June 5, and saw around 30 res­i­dents come out to voice their opin­ions.

At­ten­dees were split into groups of four and given four ques­tions to dis­cuss. Dis­cus­sion amongst the groups lasted around an hour.

“The pur­pose of this is to gather up as many opin­ions and ideas as we can from the pub­lic, to see what they think could be done to either change or im­prove cer­tain things about (the fa­cil­ity),” said Michael Sac­cary, a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity cen­tre com­mit­tee, as well as the town clerk for the town of Har­bour Grace. “Ev­ery­thing we hear tonight will be con­sid­ered by the com­mit­tee, who will pack­age it to­gether in a mis­sion state­ment to present to coun­cil.”

Sac­cary also told The Com­pass that the pur­pose of the meet­ing was not to make any fi­nal de­ci­sions but to have res­i­dents aid the com­mit­tee in mak­ing de­ci­sions in the fu­ture.

The first ques­tion asked by the com­mit­tee was what sort of pro­grams or events res­i­dents would like to see the cen­tre of­fer, out­side of what is al­ready be­ing done.

Pop­u­lar an­swers to this ques­tion in­volved host­ing events out­side of sports, such as trade shows, se­nior’s events, well­ness pro­grams, and the idea of a skate park be­ing built out­side the cen­tre.

A fol­low-up ques­tion to this was what res­i­dents felt needed to be done in or­der for sug­ges­tions from ques­tion one to be ac­com­plished.

Many res­i­dents had dis­cussed the com­mu­nity cen­tre cre­at­ing its own web­site, where staff could post things such as sched­ules and no­ti­fi­ca­tions for up­com­ing events. It was also noted that this web­site should be sep­a­rate from the town of Har­bour Grace’s site.

There was also a sug­ges­tion for the cen­tre to adapt en­trance codes that would al­low sep­a­rate ar­eas of the build­ing to be ac­ces­si­ble while leav­ing oth­ers locked, specif­i­cally for peo­ple wish­ing to take ad­van­tage of the cen­tre be­yond reg­u­lar hours. This sug­ges­tion was met favourably by other res­i­dents who at­tended the meet­ing.

Ques­tion three asked res­i­dents how to iden­tify peo­ple in Har­bour Grace and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties who would ben­e­fit from the sug­ges­tions made thus far.

The main point made by res­i­dents when an­swer­ing this ques­tion in­volved the youth of the area. Res­i­dents spoke about mak­ing the cen­tre more child and teenager friendly.

Coun. Gord Stone noted that while the cen­tre would not make much money from events per­tain­ing to chil­dren, it was some­thing that he felt needed to be done.

There was a gen­eral con­sen­sus among res­i­dents that as the cen­tre grew and ex­panded into ter­ri­tory be­yond just tra­di­tional sport­ing events, more and more res­i­dents would find their way there, as more events and pro­grams are of­fered that per­tain to their par­tic­u­lar in­ter­ests.

Some res­i­dents also noted that the cen­tre is well equipped for events in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, such as craft fairs and live mu­sic, which would at­tract those who may not be par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in sports.

Res­i­dents were then asked if there was any­thing else they would like to bring forth to the com­mit­tee that had not been dis­cussed pre­vi­ously.

The groups all agreed that the Danny Cleary Har­bour Grace Com­mu­nity Cen­tre was ca­pa­ble of be­ing used for a lot more than it cur­rently is, not­ing that it had a lot more to of­fer than the S.W. Moores Sta­dium could, and that the res­i­dents as a whole would like to see the build­ing used to its full po­ten­tial. Many felt as though this could be eas­ily ac­com­plished with proper mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion strate­gies.

Mayor Terry Barnes agreed with these state­ments.

“This fa­cil­ity can and will be used for a lot more than just hockey, which some peo­ple tend to think it’s for,” said Barnes. “The cen­tre is open all year round, not just 170 or 180 days a year when hockey is on the go, and we’ll cer­tainly be push­ing that idea as we move for­ward.”

At the end of the meet­ing, com­mit­tee mem­ber Tracey Shute ex­pressed her sat­is­fac­tion with the turnout.

“I think tonight was very suc­cess­ful,” Shute said. “We as a com­mit­tee are al­ways in­ter­ested in hear­ing what the pub­lic has to say, and we’re very happy with the way things went tonight. I think it’s safe to say this won’t be the only meet­ing like this.”

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

Res­i­dents who at­tended the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion about how the Danny Cleary Har­bour Grace Com­mu­nity Cen­tre should be put to use were split into four groups to dis­cuss dif­fer­ent ques­tions ad­dressed to them by the com­mit­tee.

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

Tracey Shute, a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity cen­tre com­mit­tee, tak­ing notes on all sug­ges­tions made by the groups dur­ing the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion in Har­bour Grace.

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