Hei­del­berg makes it of­fi­cial with grand open­ing of new com­mu­nity cen­tre on Satur­day af­ter­noon

The Woolwich Observer - - FRONT PAGE - FAISAL ALI

AFTER A LOT OF ef­fort and a lot of work, the Hei­del­berg Com­mu­nity Cen­tre is at last hold­ing its grand open­ing this Satur­day for the com­mu­nity.

“I think ev­ery­body in Hei­del­berg is thrilled that it’s there and are ea­ger to see it open and see what’s go­ing to be tak­ing place,” said Bev Baech­ler, a town­ship em­ployee with the recre­ation de­part­ment, and a com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Hei­del­berg Recre­ation As­so­ci­a­tion that spear­headed the project.

The air is sure to be ju­bi­lant as the rec. as­so­ci­a­tion is plan­ning for fun and fes­tive ac­tiv­i­ties along­side the of­fi­cial rib­bon-cut­ting. There will be face paint­ing, a cake cut­ting, games on the play­ground for the kids, bev­er­ages and tours of the fa­cil­ity which Baech­ler hopes will be a real com­mu­nity hub for the vil­lage.

“It’s just a gath­er­ing place that we can again have our fun days that we used to have. All the fam­i­lies come out and en­joy the day, get­ting to see their neigh­bours again after the sum­mer re­cess. Just a gath­er­ing place that peo­ple can come and have pro­grams there,” said Baech­ler.

The con­struc­tion of the new com­mu­nity cen­tre be­gan last sum­mer at the site of the con­demned field house at the lo­cal park in Hei­del­berg, com­pletely re­plac­ing the run­down build­ing with a brand new fa­cil­ity.

It’s a small cen­tre, says Baech­ler, fea­tur­ing a com­mu­nity room, a con­ces­sion servery and wash­rooms, but she is hope­ful it can be a great as­set to all Hei­del­berg res­i­dents.

The com­mu­nity room in par­tic­u­lar, is at the core of the new fa­cil­ity, and should be able to ac­com­mo­date about 70 peo­ple in one go.

“It’s a room big enough that we’ll be able to host chil­dren’s birth­day par­ties or if some­body wants an open house,” she noted.

“We have a lot of se­niors liv­ing in town now so it will give them the ad­van­tage of not hav­ing to drive to other cen­tres to do [ac­tiv­i­ties] or ex­er­cise pro­grams. It will all take place right in their own town. We’re hop­ing that with the new peo­ple mov­ing into town with small chil­dren, it’ll also be a place for mums and tots can gather and ex­change ideas and pro­grams.”

The com­mu­nity cen­tre has been run­ning since mid-July, and is stocked with pro­grams – many of them start­ing this fall. There are weekly yoga and pi­lates ses­sions, classes on babysit­ting for teens, child safety cour­ses, while the cen­tre it­self can be rented out for more ac­tiv­i­ties.

The Hei­del­berg Recre­ation As­so­ci­a­tion had been cam­paign­ing and fundrais­ing for the com­mu­nity hub for al­most a decade, and fi­nally their vi­sion has be­come re­al­ity with the help of sev­eral groups. The town­ship it­self com­mit­ted $257,000 to­wards the project, while $142,000 was pro­vided by an On­tario Tril­lium Fund grant. The rec. as­so­ci­a­tion, for its part, raised $67,000, and an­other $5,000 was com­mit­ted by the Par­adise and District Li­ons Club. The project cost $442,000 to com­plete.

The town­ship’s direc­tor of recre­ation and fa­cil­i­ties, Ann McArthur, says she’s happy with the com­ple­tion of the project.

“The Town­ship of Wool­wich coun­cil and staff are thrilled to be part of this amaz­ing, ac­ces­si­ble com­mu­nity project,” she said in an emailed state­ment. “The com­mu­nity is very ap­pre­cia­tive of the fa­cil­ity and the abil­ity to ac­cess recre­ation pro­grams and rental space for com­mu­nity events and fam­ily gath­er­ings in their own back yard. This project was seen through to fruition by a small group of very ded­i­cated and com­mit­ted com­mu­nity vol­un­teers and with the gen­er­ous sup­port and vi­sion of Wool­wich coun­cil.”

The grand open­ing will be held this Satur­day from 1-4 p.m., with the speeches and of­fi­cial rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony at 2 p.m. The event is com­pletely open to every­one to at­tend. Peo­ple in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing the open­ing, or other­wise drop­ping by for in­for­ma­tion and pro­gram­ming, can pass by the cen­tre at 2915 Lob­singer Line. Al­ter­na­tively, more in­for­ma­tion can be found on­line at www.hei­del­berg­park.ca.

[FAISAL ALI / THE OB­SERVER]

The Hei­del­berg Com­mu­nity Cen­tre will be the scene of a for­mal grand open­ing September 9 from 1-4 p.m.

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