By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Hamilton politicians formally agreed to name the new $17-million seniors’ centre proposed for the Pan Am precinct after long-time and influential city politician Ward 3 councillor Bernie Morelli.
The facility naming sub-committee approved the recommendation at their April 8 meeting.
“It’s a wonderful honour,” said Mountain councillor Tom Jackson, a member of the sub-committee.
Councillors Sam Merulla and Chad Collins first proposed naming the centre after Morelli last January soon after the veteran politician passed away earlier in the month after a lengthy illness. Morelli, 70, was the second-longest serving member of city council. He was first elected in 1991 for Ward 3 to the former city of Hamilton council. For the last 20 years Morelli urged the construction of a new seniors’ facility for the lower city. City council eventually found the funding and approved the project in late 2013.
The combined recreation and seniors’ centre will be part of an $8 million new soccer stadium and sports field complex that will rejuvenate the entire neighbourhood. Merulla said naming the facility is the right thing to do to honour his friend. He said the renaissance of the area is “a testament to Bernie Morelli’s hard work and commitment.”
Hamiltonpoliticians still have to confirm the sub-committee’s recommendation at a future council meeting.
The Ward 3 seniors’ centre is scheduled to be constructed after the Pan Am Games are held in the summer of 2015. The facility will be located at1099 King Street East, and will house a recreation area, and pool along with various amenities for seniors. The design for the facility still remains incomplete.