Beaverbrook residents say there is a need for an upgraded community centre. Almost 120 residents answered a survey conducted by the community association in November and December. The conclusion: renovation, community-focused programming and increased visibility are the keys to a meaningful role for the community centre, located on Beaverbrook Road. 

The survey asked residents to indicate which of seven activity areas would most benefit the Beaverbrook community. Most people chose more than one activity. Recreation and sports centre was the choice of 72 percent; educational centre 69 percent; health, safety and wellness 63 percent, and volunteer centre 33 percent.

Consultant Tracy Wightman says residents already use other facilities in Kanata for those purposes. Some 96 percent of respondents currently use other recreation and sports facilities; 46 percent take part in educational programs, and 57 percent participate in health, safety and wellness programs. 

KBCA President Gary Sealey said 60 percent of respondents have participated in events or programs at the Beaverbrook Community Centre. Current uses of the centre include line dancing, yoga, a bridge club, chess club, dog training, boy scouts and girl guides. 

More than 40 percent of respondents have children living at home. Almost 25 percent of respondents are couples over 60 with no children at home.

The most important criteria for choosing an activity, program and service are close proximity (93%), price (62%) and ease of registration (34%). Features of a centre considered most important are meeting rooms (89%), functioning kitchen (63%), Wi-Fi coverage (54%) and wheelchair access (43%).

The building owner’s long-term plans include an elevator to the second floor. In the meantime, the community association is emphasising use of ground floor facilities for public meetings to ensure wheelchair access. 

Survey respondents want to see an upgrading of the centre, including cleaning, painting and better lighting. Membership director Jim Shearon said the community association took a first step in December by painting the ground floor and entrance hall of the building. Further improvements will be made in 2014. 

Beaverbrook Community Association will be contacting service groups who may want to offer programs at the community centre. Interested groups should contact Jim Shearon (613) 592-4453.