Harbor Grace groups hope to make community center roof replacement an election issue

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Roof problems are big problems in a Harbor Grace community center.

The Splash Center has been operating from the old Harbor Grace Primary building since 2014. Now those who run it want to bring people’s attention to the condition of the roof of the building and the consequences of not repairing it.

With the provincial elections in full swing, the Center felt it was a good time to make noise about an issue that, if left unturned, could force the building to close.

“We tried to fight the fight without making too much noise, but now we’re turning to parents for help,” said Maggie Snow, executive director of the Splash Center. “It is their children who are negatively affected by the loss of the center.”

In a recent press release, the center urged people about the importance of the health of the building’s roof and its importance to the programs running from there.

The volunteer panel supporting the construction of the building is looking for written assurances from the three provincial candidates running in Harbor Grace-Port de Grave that they will receive financial support for the repair if they are elected.

They also ask parents to ask candidates where they stand when it comes to replacing the roof.

The roof has long been a problem in the former Harbor Grace Primary. The center moved to its current location in 2014 and the roof was identified as a problem area at the time.

“We were made here under the promise that this would be our permanent home,” said Snow. “The leaks have been a problem since it was run as an elementary school.”

Assurances were given that the roof problems would be resolved at the transition, but the solution never came about.

Where previously leaks were restricted to a few areas, they have progressively deteriorated in recent years.

“When it rains … our programs are weather dependent, which is unfortunate when it comes to interior design,” said Snow.

According to a recent estimate, the cost of repairs to the roof was in the range of $ 300,000.

It’s not just the region’s youth who benefit from a space like the Splash Center. The building also houses the Harbor Grace branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Trinity Conception Resource Family Center and the Communities Against Violence offices.

“It’s not just the Splash Center that would be affected,” Snow said. “It would be absolutely all of our programs and services, but it would also be all of these additional groups, programs and services.”

Harbor Grace Mayor Don Coombs said the city had met with the Splash Center Board about the issue.

The city has also advocated the provincial government for the center to provide a service to people in the city and throughout the region in the form of a letter. This letter was sent in December.

“It’s important that we keep going,” Coombs said.

The mayor said government correspondence indicated that the city may have an opportunity to take over the building. However, nothing had been decided on this front.

Coombs said he intended to take up the matter at the next meeting of the Conception Bay North Joint Council.

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“It has invaluable service here, and not just Harbor Grace, but the entire region,” Coombs said. “It’s more than programs. There is everything. ”

In any case, the fear for Coombs is that if the repairs aren’t done soon, the center will be forced to look elsewhere and get lost in the city.

“We want it to remain open to the programs it offers there,” he said.