The Welcome Beach Community Association is hoping to raise the roof at Coopers Green Hall — literally.
This Saturday, March 23, the community association will unveil plans for a major hall upgrade that includes adding an extension for a commercial kitchen, building an open seaside patio and raising the roof to improve acoustics.
The plan has been in the works since 2011, when the association sold the Welcome Beach Community Hall property on Redrooffs Road to a Halfmoon Bay resident.
“We’re trying to get people’s support,” said association president Tom Thelner, adding that no financial contributions are being sought. “It’s not hand in pocket stuff.”
The association has banked between $140,000 and $150,000 from the sale towards the project, which is expected to cost about $200,000, Thelner said. The group is hoping to muster community support for its plans and then take the proposal to the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), the owners of Coopers Green Hall, for the remaining funds.
Thelner said health inspectors will not allow cooking in the hall’s current kitchen.
“It’s inadequate, outdated and unsafe, so we have to have the food catered, which is pretty expensive,” he said.
Thelner said his nickname for the project is “Pay It Forward,” a guiding principle for the Welcome Beach group.
Formed in 1947 with about 73 hectares donated by David Fullerton, the association transferred title to all but 0.8 hectares of its property to the SCRD in 1977. Since the sale of the hall property two years ago, the group has moved its activities to Coopers Green, started hosting live bands for Music to the Green shows, and membership has increased to about 160, Thelner said.
“Part of our mandate is to give back to the community, and since Coopers Green is the last hall in Halfmoon Bay, that’s where we think the money should go,” he said.
Among the challenges for the restoration, Thelner said two trees will have to be removed from the property — one on the beach that has been split by lightning, to allow the patio to be constructed, and the other because its roots are growing under the building’s foundation.
Plans will be on display during the public information meeting, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the hall at 5500 Fisherman Rd.