Fundrais­ing un­der­way for ren­o­va­tion work at Bracken Com­mu­nity Cen­tre

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

A big amount of com­mu­nity pride is be­ing shown in the lit­tle vil­lage of Bracken, as the re­gion ral­lies around a $45,000 fund-rais­ing ef­fort to re­fur­bish the Bracken Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

While the tiny com­mu­nity boasts only 20 ratepay­ers, the Vil­lage of Bracken serves as an im­por­tant hub for the res­i­dents liv­ing be­tween Val Marie and Cli­max.

“Bracken is very unique in the sense that nor­mally when a com­mu­nity or a vil­lage or mu­nic­i­pal­ity has a few peo­ple, then it tends to die out and it kind of dis­ap­pears off the map,” ex­plained Monique Fehr, Ad­min­is­tra­tor for the Vil­lage of Bracken.

“But we have such a strong re­gional func­tion. We serve as a lit­tle hub in our area be­tween Val Marie and Cli­max where all the farm­ers and ranch­ers come to for gro­ceries, for hard­ware, for gaso­line, for mail.”

“It is one of our last build­ings in our com­mu­nity that re­mains from the past, and we are pas­sion­ate about ren­o­vat­ing that and keep­ing that build­ing for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

The Bracken Com­mu­nity Cen­tre serves as a key hub in the re­gion, with the build­ing hous­ing the Post Of­fice, a Cor­ner Li­brary, as well as The Cof­fee Shop and meet­ing room area which pro­vides a multi-use kitchen and meet­ing space for groups and busi­nesses in the re­gion.

How­ever, the mid 1920s vin­tage build­ing is start­ing to show its age, and needs con­sid­er­able work to get it into a more us­able con­di­tion. It is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some foun­da­tion prob­lems at the front of the build­ing, all the way to roof im­prove­ments.

“The front foun­da­tion in the base­ment of the build­ing that needs strength­en­ing. There’s some wood that has rot­ted away over time, so there’s some ce­ment that needs to be poured in there and some pil­lars that need to be ei­ther re­placed or strength­ened,” Fehr ex­plained.

“We would like to see the front fa­cade of the build­ing re­placed. It is a brick fa­cade, and the brick is no longer sta­ble and it has to be re­moved. So we would like to com­pletely re­move it, and bring it back into its orig­i­nal state, just with newer ma­te­rial.”

The roof is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some prob­lems with stand­ing wa­ter in one area, and an­other area is leak­ing, so the en­tire roof needs to be re­newed.

As the build­ing was for­merly at­tached to the Bracken Ho­tel, which was de­mol­ished two years ago, one wall is only com­posed of por­ous brick that is ex­posed to the el­e­ments so that wall needs to be stuc­coed.

An am­bi­tious fundrais­ing ini­tia­tive is suc­cess­fully rolling along to re­fur­bish the build­ing. The Vil­lage of Bracken has com­mit­ted $10,000 to the project, and an es­ti­mated $10,000 will be raised through lo­cal do­na­tions. The re­main­ing $15,000 will be gen­er­ated through a call for cor­po­rate sup­port for the work.

On Mon­day, Pi­o­neer Richard­son for­mally pre­sented a $10,000 cor­po­rate do­na­tion to the project though the Richard­son Foun­da­tion.

“Re­sources are al­ways lim­ited in smaller com­mu­ni­ties, so it’s en­joy­able to see the com­mu­nity get to­gether to make a project hap­pen. But a project like this, where there is a larger amount of funds needed, we’re so thank­ful to see cor­po­rate spon­sors,” Fehr said. “We are so grate­ful for this very gen­er­ous do­na­tion.”

To date, they have raised $32,300 to­wards their $45,000 goal. With the funds al­ready raised, they are now aim­ing for a late 2018 or early 2019 project start.

In­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses in­ter­ested in sup­port­ing the ren­o­va­tion work can peo­ple can do­nate through the Vil­lage of Bracken.

SUB­MIT­TED

Sup­port­ers of the Bracken Com­mu­nity Cen­tre at­tended a meet and greet event on Mon­day to rec­og­nize a $10,000 do­na­tion from the Richard­son Foun­da­tion. Bracken Mayor Su­san Wiens was pre­sented the cheque by Richard­son Pi­o­neer Di­rec­tor of Op­er­a­tions Wil­liam Kry­wu­lak and Grain Mer­chant T. John­son.

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