BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: The recent renovation of the Blackstock Recreation Centre saw an update at Scugog council chambers on Monday, March 17, and was awarded additional funding of up-to $52,000 for the removal of lead paint and asbestos, and the installation of a new kitchen ventilation hood – said to open the community hall up to new revenue opportunities.
Craig Belfry, Township of Scugog Manager of Recreation and Culture, presented a positive report on the improvement of 3440 Church St. building, but added that additional funds of up-to $52,000 will be needed to cover additional costs.
“The project has been rolling along very well, we’re on track to complete renovations around mid-April,” said Mr. Belfry. “We have also uncovered some nice architectural features underneath the original brick work, and we will have more room for storage and activities inside the hall – we’re all very excited.”
On the other hand, Mr. Belfry propositioned Scugog councillors for additional budget allocations toward the continued improvement of the often-used complex – stating that a maximum of $29,000 is needed from the Township’s Community Enhancement Fund should be re-directed toward the improvement of the historic Church St. edifice, built in 1913 by the federal government as a military armoury.
“We ran into some asbestos in the stage-area walls, and the paint has been found to contain lead, which requires the service of special clean-up crews,” said Mr. Belfry. “We have had to re-frame some doors and replace the aged urinals as well. In order to complete the project properly, we require re-allocation of the CEF funds, which are set aside for purposes such as this.”
The second item on the list of requirements, a commercial-strength kitchen ventilation hood and matching fire suppression system, will cost roughly $23,000 – but will negate the prior fire safety issues which disallowed cooking of any oil-laden foods.
“We would like to have the same kind of commercial equipment as the Nestleton and Scugog complexes, so that caterers and residents can cook food and not just boil water indoors,” said Mr. Belfry.
The funding for the commercial hood system, which was recently discovered in a long un-touched Blackstock Recreation Centre Reserve Fund, was set aside by previous municipal governments for improvements to the building.
“I think we should count ourselves lucky to have only found these issues in such an old building,” said Councillor Howard Danson. “I am quite happy with the recommendations, and am entirely in favour.”
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