Regional District of Nanaimo shells out $25,000 for seniors centre

NANAIMO – Money from gas tax revenue helps Gabriola organization renovate building.

Regional District of Nanaimo will be granting upwards of $25,000 to Gabriola Senior Citizens Association for exterior and washroom renovations at the Rollo Centre.

At the May 24 regional district board meeting, directors gave approval and directed staff to develop a deal that will see money from the community works fund, which federal gas tax revenue supports, for the Gabriola Island area transferred to the association for work at the centre.

The association said it saw between 10,000-12,000 visitors in 2015. Ralph Hagen, association treasurer and renovation committee chairman, said rentals and inquiries are increasing each year and it foresees the present facility stressed beyond present capacity.

The association is in the midst of a five-year, multiple-phased renovation program, with washroom work tagged at $10,000 and exterior renovations at $20,000.

The association will contribute more than $5,000 of its own money, gathered through fundraising and general money.

Hagen told the News Bulletin the association added an addition to the building last year, but did not put exterior cladding on. Hardieplank siding will be used.

“The initial building was an old portable school room, with some kind of aluminum siding on it … because we had to put new cover on the addition, we said, ‘Well, let’s just renew the whole outside of the building and make it look decent and give it a new life.”

There are low maintenance costs associated with the siding, Hagen said. As for the washroom, Hagen said it’s part of a rearranging of the interior to “change the traffic pattern to get a better use of meeting rooms.”

“We’re putting washrooms in a new location and the first washroom we’re going to build, which is part of this grant, is a proper handicap washroom,” he said.

The regional district also granted $5,355 to the association last year to complete renovation work, which included a fire escape door and a ramp. That money also came through the community works fund.

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