Blenheim senior centre work moves ahead

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Workers were busy Saturday putting roof trusses in place for the new Blenheim and Community Senior Centre. The centre is expected to be open next spring.
Workers were busy Saturday putting roof trusses in place for the new Blenheim and Community Senior Centre. The centre is expected to be open next spring.

Work on the new Blenheim and Community Senior Centre is entering the home stretch, according to project co-chair Peter Shillington.

Shillington said the roof trusses have been put in place and bricklayers are expected to be on site within the next few days.

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“Once we have the building bricked and the windows installed we’ll be moving inside,” he said. “We should be working on the interior before the colder weather gets here.”

Shillington said the two-storey structure now under construction on Marlborough Street, is expected to be completed in February with a grand opening likely in March.

Construction is about a month behind plans and the cost has increased by about $100,000, to $900,000.

“In any project there are a few delays and cost estimates are going to vary,” he said. “We’re fortunate because we have the building we’re using now so we can get things totally completed before we open.”

“We’ve raised about 80 per cent of the cost and we will be conducting more fundraising events,” he said. “We didn’t get all of the grant money we had anticipated so there’s still a bit of work to do.”

He said the popular chicken dinners and fish frys will be continuing on alternating weeks.

“We’ve been selling out and they’ve really helped. We will be discussing other events in the near future.”
The new 7,500-sq.-ft. building will replace the current facility on Catherine Street that has been in use in since 1980.

It will have a main floor with a lounge, office, kitchen and a large hall that can be divided into three smaller rooms.

An elevator will take members and guests between floors to enjoy shuffleboard, darts, billiards, cards and other activities.

The building will also have its own generator so it can be used as an emergency shelter if necessary.

The move to a new building was necessitated by the group’s increase in membership that was at the 350 mark earlier this year.

“We just keep growing and our members want to have more activities so the move is a good thing,” he said.

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