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Released April 10, 2003

"The Power of a Community"
MacMorran Community Centre grand opening

Honourable Oliver Langdon, Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC), Honourable Walter Noel, Minister of Mines and Energy,  MHA-Virginia Waters, His Worship Andy Wells, Mayor, City of St. John’s, Honourable Norm Doyle, MP- St. John’s East,  along with Mike Wadden, Executive Director, MacMorran Community Centre, community members and an array of project supporters will celebrate the grand opening of the new MacMorran Community Centre at a ribbon cutting ceremony this evening.

The centre originally known as the Mount Scio Community Centre, was constructed in 1983, and funded by the federal government.  The little “blue house,” as it was known in the community, operated recreational and social programs throughout the 1980s.  Serving more than 450 families in a 151-unit social housing development in the areas of McGrath Street, Hunts Lane, Blackwood Place, Kelly Street and Brophy Place has not always been an easy task in such a small setting.  Tonight – all that will change.

“The people of the MacMorran Community have done a great job providing facilities and services for residents of the area.  The new centre demonstrates the support, confidence and appreciation of various levels of government for the work being done.  I really value the friendships I’ve made, and the opportunities I’ve had to contribute to these efforts since being elected to represent the area in 1989,” said Minister Noel.

This new 7,500 square-foot community centre will provide access and equal opportunity for community members to participate in social, health, recreational, educational and cultural programs that will build self-esteem and provide community members with  opportunities in their own community.  The centre also provides access for people with disabilities and is capable of hosting large community events such as community forums, social events and learning workshops.  A new gymnasium will enable the centre to provide a wider variety of physical activity programs to the entire community year-round.  A new computer room, library and family resource centre will enable programs such as Strategies for Learning Success (SLS), Youth Services Canada (YSC), Programs for Early Parents Support and Community Economic Development, to mention a few, with adequate resources and office space to play host to a larger number of community members waiting to participate in these programs.  A doctor’s office, food bank and clothing room are also available to help community residents maintain their health and well-being. 

Kim Foley, MacMorran community resident commented: “The community centre has given me the opportunity to achieve goals I never thought possible.  There were so many things I wanted to try, but felt they were too difficult.  However, the centre staff showed me my community is a place that helps me achieve my goals and go further than I ever realized.”

The MacMorran Community Centre aims to inspire its residents to play an active role in planning, governing, administrating and evaluating programs and activities that will be a crucial part of the community’s development and sustainability.

“Investments in communities such as this provide the fundamental building blocks to ensure opportunities are provided for a cooperative community development process that will sustain healthy, supportive and safe communities,” said Oliver Langdon, Minister Responsible for Housing.  “With this type of community capacity building taking place throughout our province, and being supported by all three levels of government, we experience a level of satisfaction that is key to building successful communities, and ultimately a successful province.”

The construction of the new centre is cost-shared on a federal, provincial and municipal level.  The federal government, through the Labour Market Development Agreement, contributed $236,640, the provincial government, through Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, will contribute $240,000 over a three-year period, and the City of St. John’s has committed $300,000 in capital investment.  In addition, MacMorran Community Centre and other community partners have provided $125,000 of in-kind contributions.  Other partners include Gibbons Hampton Architects Ltd., Follett Gosse Associates Consulting Engineers Ltd., Provincial Consultants, White Ottenheimer & Baker - Barristers & Solicitors and St. Pius X Parish.

“As the MP for St. John’s East, I recognize the important role this centre plays in the lives of its community members. I commend all participants at the community, municipal, provincial and federal levels for the combined efforts that have made this occasion a success,” said Mr. Doyle.

“The MacMorran Community Centre, its staff and volunteers are a good example of what can be achieved when people work together to reach a common good.  It is this type of determination and dedication that plays an important part in the continuous development and growth of communities,” said Mayor Wells.  “I wish the MacMorran community continued success for the future.”

Celebrations for invited guests are set to begin at 7:00 p.m., 31-33 Brophy Place, St. John’s.

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Media contact:

Mike Wadden or Keith Davis
MacMorran Community Centre
(709) 722-1168 or 722-1495
    
Darrell Mercer
Director of Communications
Department of Mines and Energy
(709) 729-5777

Jenny Bowring
Manager, Corporate Communications
NLHC
(709) 724-3055
E-mail:  releases@nlhc.nf.ca

Jill Brewer
Communications, City of St. John’s
(709) 576-8405