Kent takes next step in gymnasium project

Still room for more members in fundraising committee for Agassiz gym

Fundraising for new gymnasium and multipurpose rooms in Agassiz can begin in earnest now, after council approved a special committee Monday night.

The new spaces are the next phase of the Kent Leisure/ Activity Centre, and while some of the building costs will be covered by a government grant, the District is responsible for a portion of them.

The Fundraising Select Committee for the Active Living Gymnasium and Multi-purpose will include Robert Stam, Tracey Paul, Bev Kennedy, Susan Spaeti, Mal Shepard and Wendy Colman. It will be chaired by Kent Mayor John van Laerhoven, with Councillor Holger Schwichtenberg as alternate chair.

The committee was to be made up of eight members at large, and council said they will consider up to two more community members, if they were to show interest in the future.

Kent District staff liaisons for the committee are Wallace Mah, CAO, and Kerry Hilts, director of community services.

The role of the committee is to help the district oversee fundraising strategies for the proposed gym, consult with council, assist with championing the project, prioritize needs and put forward forward recommendations and to find opportunities, individuals and corporate sponsors for the project.

Kent received a Community Recreational Grant for $750,000 from the province in March this year. That is 60 per cent of the proposed $1.1 million project. The district had applied for up to 80 per cent of the project.

Many groups within the community supported the proposal, including Fraser Health, School District 78, Community Services, Youth Inclusion Partnership, Seabird Island Band and Agassiz Harrison Healthy Communities.

The current Fitness/ Activity Centre is being used to capacity and the needs of the community have grown to require more recreational space, council was told previously. The new gymnasium is hoped to fill those needs.

news@ahobserver.com