Ancaster residents should be prepared for another fundraising campaign from the Ancaster Seniors Centre.
Bob Thomson, treasurer of the senior centre’s advisory board, said an “aggressive” fundraising campaign will be rolled out this year that has a goal of raising $500,000 to help pay for further renovations to their centre. The money will be used for additional renovations, including a new kitchen area and landscaping.
So far, a golf tournament is being organized that, Thomson said, hopefully will raise $15,000.
Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson said the project is “one month a head of schedule,” with tenders scheduled to be issued this May. Under the federal government’s requirements the $1.5 million project has to be “substantially completed” by March 31, 2014. Thomson said the timeline for completion is March 14, 2014.
At a federal announcement last month first hand concept drawings of the $1.5 million renovation project were unveiled. The plans, by architect Bill Curran, showcased a new lobby, lounge and library area on the west side of the building at 622 Alberton Road S., a 2,262-square-foot garden and a new multi-purpose area with an atrium allowing for a courtyard view. The expansion also includes a café area. Thomson said the reception area and a new office will be relocated to the front of the building.
Centre officials have pleaded for the municipal government to expand the facility because of its growing membership. Its usage increased from 49,000 visitors in 2009 to 62,000 in 2011.
The advisory committee has already raised $400,000 for its $500,000 share of the project, while the federal and municipal governments are providing $500,000 each. But Thomson said the committee needs to raise the additional $100,000 to complete its share of the cost, plus another $400,000 to help pay for the kitchen upgrades, and exterior landscaping.
“What we found is there are items that we would like to have,” he said.
Ancaster Senior Centre officials and Ferguson have talked to Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin about providing further financial assistance to the group. Council last month sent a motion to the province requesting about $250,000.
Thomson acknowledged the province isn’t obligated to provide any money. Still, anytime they meet with McMeekin, money for the centre somehow enters the discussion.
“We keep bringing the issue up,” he said.