About 40 people attend public meeting about Whitney Crawford Community Centre
By Liz Dadson

Kincardine council

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About 40 people were on hand to provide some input to the ad hoc committee set up by Kincardine council to determine the fate of the Whitney Crawford Community Centre in Tiverton.

Held at the community centre, Tuesday night, Oct. 14, the meeting was chaired by Joe Cottrill who explained that council is going to tear down the current building and replace it with a new structure.

Joe Cottrill chairs the meeting about the future of the Whitney Crawford Community Centre in Tiverton

The volunteer ad hoc committee's job is to gather information on what that new building should look like and the best location. It will not be built on the current site because there is not enough room, said Cottrill.

He said the committee will be recommending a quality, value-driven 'A'-class building with a central hall that would seat 400-plus. It should have lots of windows and/or skylights; off-hours access for deliveries, including cooler-access; good cloakroom access; coffered or uneven ceilings for multiple lighting options; high-quality industrial linoleum flooring; a quality separate meeting room; two-hallway entrance to the hall; and an on-site washer-dryer.

Cottrill said the group has travelled to several nearby communities to check out their community centres, including Cargill, Belmore, Goderich and Neustadt.

"The mandate of this committee is to give recommendations to council on the new Whitney Crawford Community Centre," said Cottrill.

He said these recommendations will be based on input from the Tiverton and area community, and the visits to the other community centres and similarly-used buildings.

The recommendations will include:

  • Desired location on municipal property
  • The pros and cons of including the Tiverton branch of the Bruce County Library in the new building
  • The optimal size and features needed for the various uses of the building
  • Options for parking and traffic flow

Joining Cottrill on the ad hoc committee, are Jim McTeer, Ron Manto, deputy mayor Anne Eadie, Ward 3 councillor Randy Roppel, and recreation director Karen Kieffer.

The committee handed out survey forms for people to complete, regarding location of the community centre, and a multitude of other aspects.

During the question period, Ron Stephens asked what the budget is for this building.

Cottrill said that is not part of this committee's mandate. That decision will be up to council. "Our job is to determine what features to include, the layout of the building and the location," he said.

When asked about the current seating capacity of the Tiverton and Underwood centres, McTeer said that Tiverton seats 247 people, while Underwood can seat 250 people.

Dianne Todd asked how the proposed location beside the Tiverton Sports Centre would affect the soccer fields.

The two prospective locations are east of the Tiverton Arena (sports centre), or between the ball diamonds and the current library building. Or another location on municipal land.


Roppel said with either prospective location, the community will lose two soccer fields.

Todd said the location beside the library would be more central, but with the reduction in hockey registrations, perhaps beside the arena would be a better place for the community centre.

"There are pros and cons to both locations," said Cottrill. "We are not locked into either. This project is in the very preliminary stages."

He said he prefers the "go-slow" approach when spending taxpayers' money. "We want to be careful and do it right."

Don Manary commended the committee for a great job in getting public input so this multi-purpose centre is built for the community.

"This community centre will be serving Inverhuron, Tiverton and the surrounding area, as a complement to the Underwood Community Centre," said Cottrill.

Roppel said the centre will have a stand-by generator so it can be used as a warming centre in the winter months.

When asked about functions that could not be accommodated at the community centre in Tiverton, McTeer said there was an engineering firm that wanted to hold a meeting there, but the facility was not large enough. So, it ended up going to the Davidson Centre in Kincardine.

"Our biggest problem," said McTeer, "is that no caterer in the immediate area will cater a function in the hall because we have no dishwasher in the kitchen." Plus, the waterline does not have the capacity to put in a dishwasher in the current kitchen, he said.

Kevin Carr suggested the committee consider the possibility of a skate park at the arena for the youth to enjoy.

John Gowing said there is a seniors' facility in the village - the Tiverton Park Manor - and residents would appreciate a covered entrance at the community centre so they could attend functions despite inclement weather.

Cottrill thanked everyone for the input and encouraged all in attendance to fill out the survey forms and put all their ideas down on paper and submit them to the committee.

The ad hoc committee meetings are open to the public, and Cottrill reminded people that they can make presentations at those meeting. However, they must contact him, as chairman, ahead of time to confirm. The committee meets again Monday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m., at the Whitney Crawford Community Centre. 

The committee will be taking an interim report to Kincardine council later this month.

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