Hall construction begins

After years of effort by hundreds of people, construction will begin this summer on renovating and expanding the community hall. On July 15, the Belgravia Community League board passed a motion to proceed with construction. This is an exciting step for our neighborhood.

When tenders for construction came in two months ago they were higher than expected so the Hall Renewal Committee worked hard to reduce costs and find more funds. The size of the expansion had been reduced once already to reduce costs, and reducing it any more would threaten the viability of the children’s out-of-school programs that are so important to the school and young families. Nonetheless, about $200,000 in savings were identified, in part by design simplifications and in part by deferring some of the finishing work on the second floor.

The construction contract, including GST, will be for about $1.4 million. To address a potential funding shortfall that may arise late in construction next spring, a handful of Belgravia families who had already contributed to fundraising stepped in with low-interest loans, even though the community league can offer no security or collateral. Future grants, casinos, and fundraising will be used to re-pay these loans.

The renewed hall, which will be built on the core of the existing hall, is designed to serve for many decades to come. We have benefited from the legacy of those who came before us. It is our turn to keep the legacy strong.