BRACEBRIDGE = The Rotary Centre for Youth in Bracebridge is going to see some changes over the next year.
MP Tony Clement announced a $15,000 grant on Feb. 8 to replace the roof and increase accessibility to the building on Wellington Street.
The centre is well used and a valuable resource for the community, Clement said.
The roof is expected to be replaced before spring and the accessibility upgrades will take place between April 1 and the end of December.
Cheryl Kelley, chair of the Rotary Centre for Youth Operating Committee, said the accessibility upgrades will include automatic doors at the front of the building.
“It was very hard to pry the dollars that we needed for the roof out of the board,” she said. “They really didn’t want to spend that money and the reason that is is because we really do want to spend our money on what we do good around the community.”
Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith, who received a diamond jubilee medal of honour award earlier in the day for his contribution to the community, said the grant through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund is a contribution to the community.
“You can think of it as $15,000 for a roof, but it’s $15,000 to help people within the community of Bracebridge, and I think that’s the real win here today,” Smith said.
The Rotary Club identified the need for a new roof a year ago, as well as the need for increased accessibility to accommodate the many groups of people it serves from young Boy Scouts to the retired professionals of the Probus club.
The 21-year-old building is able to accommodate 150 seated guests and hosts a variety of occasions including Clement’s New Year’s levee in January.
The Rotary Club works on service projects that make a positive difference in the community. The most recent projects in Bracebridge include the Rotary Gardens on Taylor Road and Pine Street, the ongoing support for youth programs such as Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, and their support for the world-wide End Polio Now campaign.
The Rotary Centre is one of many projects that have been approved to receive funding from the FedNor program to improve community infrastructure that needs “just a little bit of touching up,” Clement said.
Two weeks ago Port Carling also received a grant to replace the siding of their community centre.