Sunday, March 13, 2016

Starting Public Engagement About Pelham Community Centre

Over the last number of years, Pelham Council has diligently scrutinized and prepared for a potential Community Centre. Starting next week, final designs, cost estimates, and financing options will be available to Council and the community.

In late-2012, Council directed staff to provide an executive summary of the seven consultant and staff reports – which date back to 1990 – recommending new or improved recreational and community facilities.

In 2013, we hired LeisurePlan International to conduct a statistically-significant resident survey about our community’s needs and preferences. They also tested the business case for various community facilities.

In 2014, LeisurePlan presented a number of reports demonstrating sustaining-demand for a Community Centre and recommending that the Town construct a facility in the East Fonthill development area. Council also established an Architectural Design Advisory Committee with volunteers representing various recreational user groups, youth, seniors, artists, service clubs and the community-at-large. (You may access these report at

During 2015, the Committee worked with the architect, LeisurePlan, and staff to develop concept drawings and presented a design. Council directed staff to hire a construction manager to review and refine the design and to develop an operating pro forma.

All this work confirms the need and the sustaining-demand for a Community Centre that would include adaptable and multi-purpose community spaces, a double-gymnasium, an indoor walking/running track, and a double-arena. This facility could serve as the hub for residents of all ages to gather and enjoy a wide-variety of recreational, health, and community activities for many years.

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, Council will receive updated information about the potential Pelham Community Centre, including presentations from the architect with the design and elevations, the construction manager reviewing the construction costs, and staff with details about financing.

Council plans to officially receive this information – thereby making it publically available – as the start of 4-5 weeks of community engagement.

We recognize that not everyone is able to drop everything to attend a Council meeting or an open house. That’s why there will be many ways for people to get information about the project.

For example, so that hundreds of folks can review the March 22 information, the Town will post the video of the presentations on the Town’s website at on Wednesday, March 23. Further, Cogeco TV will broadcast the presentations on Thursday, March 24 at 1:00 pm.

The weeks of public engagement will also include at least one open house – at the largest venue possible – so folks can speak directly to the architect, the construction manager, Town staff, and Councillors. Please watch traditional and social media for details about this meeting soon.

Finally, we are also planning several other opportunities – presentations to service clubs, athletic groups, and Town committees, and displays at various Town facilities and at the Pelham Home Show – for folks to learn about this exciting project.