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Riondel referendum set

Riondel residents will decide in November whether to borrow $1.2 million to renovate their community centre. - Bruce Scott photo
Riondel residents will decide in November whether to borrow $1.2 million to renovate their community centre.
— image credit: Bruce Scott photo

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has agreed to hold a referendum in November to determine the fate of the Riondel community centre.

Residents will be asked to approve the borrowing of up to $1.2 million over 20 years to renovate a portion of the aging facility and demolish the rest.

At a public meeting this month, nearly three-quarters of residents endorsed an option that would see the auditorium and portion of the building south of the office and music room torn down and remaining two levels renovated with a pitched roof.

East Shore regional district director Garry Jackman says the full financial details will be worked out and shared with eligible voters in the coming months.

“[Voters] need to see what the new maintenance regime would look like. A smaller, newer building should cost less to maintain, but this time round, a little bit of money should also be put aside in a capital reserve for the next generation of retrofits.”

The community centre is the former J.A. Cochran school, which was built in the 1950s and ‘60s. After sitting vacant for several years, the school district transferred it to the regional district’s care in 1979.

It has since been home to many groups including the Riondel seniors, historical society, community library, and art club, each with its own dedicated room.

However, the building has never seen a major upgrade. Its shortcomings including a leaking roof.

 

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