Fundraising kicks off for new hall

Coopers Green

A major fundraising campaign for a new community hall at Coopers Green kicked off with a sold-out event April 23. The dinner and live auction raised more than $20,000.

Don Cunliffe, the fundraising chair for the project, said the old hall at Coopers Green isn’t able to meet the demands of the community. “It has no food-safe kitchen, the acoustics are poor, it’s a bit run down,” he explained.

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A new facility is expected to cost about $1 million, and it’s hoped construction can start in 2017. 

The Halfmoon Bay Community Association has already kicked in the first $140,000, raised through the sale of the old Welcome Woods hall and, according to Cunliffe, there’s also about $126,000 in other funding set aside.

Garry Nohr, director for Halfmoon Bay, said the ultimate goal is to be able to pull off the project without any taxpayer funding.

“The locals are going to raise up to $300,000,” he said. “Our job is to get grants and community compensation (amenities contributions from rezoning, etc.) from resource industries to raise most of the rest of the money.”

A recently completed park master plan for Coopers Green has already identified the site of the current hall as the best location for a new building.

“We have a wonderful park at Coopers Green – a new hall would benefit not only the immediate community, but many others who come and enjoy the Coast,” Cunliffe said. “We’re quite confident [about hitting the fundraising goal].”

Once built, the new hall will be owned by the SCRD, but Nohr said they’d like to see it managed by people from the community. “Maybe this group, or this committee, will lease it from us … and therefore they will manage it,” he said.  “We feel strongly at the SCRD that having community organizations look after the [community] halls is more effective.”

For more information on the project contact Cunliffe at doncunliffe@gmail.com

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