Public consultation on Harbour Grace stadium deemed a success
About 30 people attend meeting concerning future of community centre
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.”
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.
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.