Community breaks ground for community centre

Councillor for Pittsburgh District, Ryan Boehme, welcomed Mayor Bryan Patterson and members of the build team and architects behind the new Kingston East Community Centre as shovels went into the icy ground to celebrate the milestone on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.

Pittsburgh District Councillor Ryan Boehme, Mayor Bryan Paterson, Greg Sullivan of M. Sullivan & Son Ltd., and Amanda Milliken, President of the Pittsburgh Community Benefit Fund break ground for the new community centre on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

“For me, it’s always been about community. I picture people driving by on Highway 15 and driving and seeing the activity there and getting people out and engaged in their own community and meeting their neighbors,” Boehme said. “This is truly a full city facility, and it’s going to be the first of its type in the east end since amalgamation.”

The new centre, expected to open in early 2021, will be home to a full-sized gymnasium, a community kitchen, an outdoor rink, multiple meeting rooms, a fitness centre, and a splash pad. It is also being designated as an emergency reception centre and will house a customer service point for the city for municipal services such as garbage tags and bus pass renewals.

Amanda Milliken, President of the Pittsburgh Community Benefit Fund, shares some remarks while celebrating the groundbreaking of the new community centre. Photo by Tommy Vallier.

The community centre project was initially approved in 2018, but following the climate emergency declaration, changes were suggested to the building. The most recent was a budget increase, adding nearly $2 million to the cost of the project. In doing so, the facility will include rooftop solar, LED lighting and geothermal heating and cooling, and reducing annual operating costs.

Upon completion, the centre will provide access to programming and facilities daily. While final programming discussions are ongoing, the City is looking to work with partners such as the Seniors’ Association and the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston and Area to offer leisure programming.

The community centre is the most recent investment on the eastern end of Kingston, following investments along the commercial corridor and business parks, and the work being done to construct a new bridge connecting Gore Road and John Counter Boulevard.

“I think I’m most excited to be able to tell residents in the east end of our city that all of the same services that you can find in other areas of the city, you can have now in the east end,” Mayor Patterson noted.

Born and raised in Kingston, Josie Vallier bleeds limestone. An avid council watcher since 2004, she first began reporting on municipal affairs in 2011, helping to modernize meetings and make them more accessible through social media and live video. When she isn’t focused on City Hall, he’s san avid gamer, youth theatre supporter, and Disney fan.

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