• James Armstrong

Town of Hudson receives Canada 150 Infrastructure grant for community centre renovation


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

The announcement by MP for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Peter Schiefke (centre, left, with Mayor Ed Prévost) that money for renovating the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre has been granted was an upbeat occasion for many of the community centre’s stakeholders.

The long awaited and anticipated grant money from the federal government for renovating the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre has been officially announced.

Peter Schiefke, Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Canada Economic Development for Quebec (CED) made the announcement at a press conference held at the community centre Friday, June 9.

The town has been granted $250,000 and $15,000, respectively, in financial assistance. It is a non-repayable contribution for infrastructure and community projects related to Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. As reported in Your Local Journal, April 20, 2017 (Loan by-law for Hudson Community Centre renovations moves forward), Hudson has committed to a loan by-law that also contributes to the renovation project. According to the press release, the $15,000 covers a new community mural project, We are Canada – Nous sommes le Canada that will celebrate the diverse history of the Hudson region within Canadian history, fostering the development of community identity.

Schiefke thanked Mayor Ed Prévost, Director General Jean-Pierre Roy, town councillors, the administration and the entire community.

“No doubt this announcement will have a positive effect on the lives of the people of Hudson,” he said, adding the community centre is a space where people come together for art exhibitions, local festivities and valuable services to youth and seniors. “Community centres are where the meaning of the word ‘home’ rings loudest for many,” he said.

Diane Cloutier, president of Hudson’s Meals On Wheels program, was very pleased with the announcement, and said updating the kitchen facilities would permit the expansion of the Meals on Wheels program by increasing the number of clients served and meet the future needs of the community.

Nicolas Pedneault, Director of Culture and Tourism for the town, sketched in some of the details of the exterior wall mural project.

“It will involve local artists under the supervision of a professional muralist,” he said. The mural will be created on the long stretch of wall of the building housing the curling rink. Pedneault also gave YLJ a tour of the community centre indicating where repairs and upgrades are needed to floors, doors, windows and the kitchen. In particular, the kitchen requires an updated venting hood over the stoves and there are issues with wiring and electrical service for that area.

Exterior parking areas and pathways will have lighting installed and an area on the east side of the building will be dedicated to parking for cyclists with access to potable water. Since the community center is the designated emergency shelter for the town, having the emergency power generator permanently hooked up to the building is also an important part of the renovation project.

According to Pedneault, the process for getting the work done on time and by the deadline of December 31, 2017, as stipulated by the grant program is in place. When asked how this would affect activities in the community centre over the coming months, he said the plan is to work around the activities using the lower level youth centre as required. He also noted that calls for tender for various aspects of the project would be published in the near future.

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