While the election of officers and the recruitment of new volunteers is always an important element of the View Royal Community Association’s annual general meeting, the status of the 60-year-old community hall is expected to carry much of the discussion at next Tuesday’s (Nov. 29) gathering.
The association is currently asking residents to complete the View Royal Community Hall survey to get a better idea of what people envision for the future of the hall at 279 Island Hwy. The survey is available through a link on the Town of View Royal’s website at viewroyal.ca. The prelude to the survey characterizes the hall as currently in severe need of extensive repairs and maintenance.
Community association chair Barb Fetherstonhaugh said the hall suffered flood damage last year in its lower level, where a preschool has operated for the past 25 or so years.
Insurance would not cover the damage, she said, as it had happened before and had not been structurally dealt with. “It’s not something we can fix unless we raise the building,” she said.
The community association is putting forward various options, including the construction of a new hall designed as a multi-use facility available for other community uses; the refurbishing of the existing hall, and a combination facility that could include an affordable housing element.
Among other things, the survey asks respondents’ views on rental facilities at the hall, possible locations and improvement options, and which elements of a community hall are most important to them.
“I believe we need a community centre that makes us be a community … we need a place that is a gathering place for View Royal,” Fetherstonhaugh said. She pointed to the Burnside Gorge Community Centre in Victoria as a good example of how a purpose-built, centrally located facility can bring residents and neighbourhoods together.
Should the idea of a new hall emerge from the survey results as the preferred option, and be investigated further by the community association and the Town of View Royal, one location that has been suggested is somewhere close to the intersection of Helmcken Road and Island Highway.
More information about this project and other undertakings by the association can be found at vrca.weebly.com.