SAINT JOHN - West side athletes will soon have a new gymnasium floor to play soccer, volleyball and ball hockey on at the Carleton Community Centre.
Saint John MP Rodney Weston, left, and Coun. Donnie Snook at the Carleton Community Centre, which is getting a new gym floor with funding provided by the city and the federal government.
Saint John MP Rodney Weston announced Thursday that Ottawa is investing $22,500 in the new gym floor, with the city contributing $40,000 to complete the work.
"To see the refurbishment of a building that has been an institution in the community for many years and is so well used is a worthwhile investment," Weston said.
"You can't put words together to describe how it makes you feel as a politician to announce that amount of money."
Athletes, who range in age from five years to 80, play organized sports in the west side gym, said Chuck Edison, a co-ordinator with the city's leisure services department.
The current floor was laid in 1975 and the years have started to take their toll, Edison said.
"The Carleton Centre is the heart and soul of this community and so many people come in and use the gym," he said.
"They know the new floor is coming down and they're excited about it. The kids have to wait an extra two weeks to start programs as a result of this project, but it's worth the wait."
Crews are scheduled to begin work on the new floor in early October, with the work expected to last about two weeks.
Constructed in 1863, the building that now houses the Carleton Community Centre is aging but has started to see some reinvestment and repair.
The centre now boasts a new kitchen, two washrooms were renovated and the ground beneath the vestibule at the entrance has new engraved tiles that highlight the roles people played in the centre, Edison said.
"We are going through a transition period and thanks to the City of Saint John we're moving in the right direction."
Published Friday September 11th, 2009 - Telegraph Journal