Centre Chevaliers’ ongoing renos receive $25,000 boost

Attending the FCC $25,000 cheque presentation to Centre Chevaliers are: left-right, Tanya Yaremko and Ariane Cote of FCC; Laurie Morin, director, CKRP Radio; Ester Picard, Centre Chevaliers manager; Denise Maisonneuve, secretary/treasurer, and Joyce Rey and Karen Tytula of FCC.

Farm Credit Canada Agri-Spirit Fund awarded locally

Tom Henihan
South Peace News

The Falher branch of Farm Credit Canada [FCC] presented a $25,000 cheque to Centre Chevaliers on Oct. 4, in support of the Centre’s refurbishment.

Sociètè du Centre Communautaire Rivière-la-Paix committee are the administrators of the Centre Chevaliers, also called the Knights of Columbus Hall and colloquially known as the Pink Elephant.

Regarding the funds provided to Centre Chevaliers, Farm Credit Canada issued a statement saying: “Société du Centre Communautaire Rivière-la-Paix is among the recipients of the 2019 FCC AgriSpirit Fund. The $25,000 will be used to support the restoration project and to make the centre more energy-efficient. Out of the 1,600 applications submitted from across the country, this project was one of 94 selected, which helps show how special a project like this is. Working together and building stronger communities.”

The Centre Chevaliers renovations project is due in large part to water damage.

“The stucco on the west wall was removed, cracks were repaired, it was repapered, new flashing was installed, it was re-insulated then one coat of stucco applied,” says Centre Chevaliers manager, Ester Picard.

“The last and final coat with colour will be applied in the spring when the weather gets warm again,” she adds.

Due to uncooperative weather, a temporary solution to the leaking roof was put in place until next summer, when a full removal and repair is planned, at an estimated cost of over $110,000.

Re-insulating the attic is also necessary due to the amount of water that leaked through the roof.

The delay to some of these projects has the positive outcome of giving the centre an opportunity to raise more money.

“It will give us a bit more time to apply for more funding because we still do not have enough to cover all these expenses,” says Picard. “We were successful in our Community Facility Enhancement Program application and received $62,480.00 along with the FCC’s Agri-Spirit Fund of $25,000.”

Both grants are for the exterior repairs to the building, repairs that started in August 2019. They will resume and be completed during spring and summer 2020.

While renovating the exterior and modifying the upstairs interior for the Dance Society and CKRP Radio, some unexpected expenses arose, such as discovering cracked pipes that needed replacing before the floors are replaced.

Another unexpected expense is either acquiring a new, higher capacity breaker box, or changing to lower amperage LED lights.

The scissor lift used by the stucco contractors caused the sidewalks to cave in making them unsafe, an urgent matter that needs fixing before the advance polls for the upcoming federal election on Oct. 21, especially regarding wheelchair accessibility.

On the positive side, the insurance company gave the OK for the “Sons of Carpentry” to go ahead with the interior repairs, which they finished the first week in October.

CKRP Radio, which has its studio in the Centre Chevaliers, have completed its renovations and have begun installing its new equipment.

“As for us, we still have a few weeks before we are done the removal and reinstallation of our new flooring upstairs and our painting,” says Picard.

When the second coat of stucco is applied next spring, the term Pink Elephant may no longer apply as the colour pink is no longer an option.

“If people would like to give their opinion on their colour choice for the exterior of our hall, they can go to our Facebook page and express their opinion there,” says Picard.

She is planning to create a survey on Facebook but if people are unable to find it they can also leave a message as to what their colour preference would be.

“Just in case you want pink it would be very hard to match because there is no colour pink unless you mix and match colours until you get the right one,” she says.

“Well if you can’t call it the Pink Elephant, maybe it can be yellow for the Honeycomb, or burgundy red for the Red Barn. You let us know your opinion.”

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