Is it time for an interior decorating change at the Community Centre?
Walk through the doors and enter that highly institutional-looking cavernous main space and and look around. The paint job is bland. What permanent artwork there is graces the space just below the ceiling, has been there for well over 10 years and probably much longer. What’s more, the hodgepodge of display cabinets and bulletin boards could use some uniformity and rationalization. The fading, decades-old photos of people in our community rarely attracted a glance after their first 15 years on the wall near the library and are now gone. Did anyone notice?
So, is it time for an interior decorating change at the Community Centre? I know that, if asked, Kerry Dawson, the still-perceived-as-new director for Parks, Recreation and Culture, will say it does and not just for aesthetic reasons.
Since she was hired on in January Dawson’s “whole goal was to observe the department and its facilities” to determine what works and what doesn’t.
“It appears on the surface that everything is wonderful, however, there are some areas that need to be looked at,” she said in an interview.
Security was a major concern. There were so many keys to the Forum floating around that no one had a clue as to who had access to it, so Dawson had all the locks changed and a new key-management system established. Alarm systems may be next.
Dawson is also supposed to improve the bottom line for the City’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Department. She could, I suppose, do that by
cutting services and raising fees. But she’d like to be more creative than that and will be reaching out to the community for help in achieving that goal.
The Community Centre and the Forum are often used as the City’s de facto conference centres but they are not very attractive places. If there was a planned and coherent approach to improving their interior appearance while preserving those pieces of our heritage that they already house then Revelstoke as a whole would be well served.
But if Dawson embarks down that road she has to be careful not to be seen as an outsider who does not appreciate the contributions and efforts made by many local groups and private citizens over the years. The best way forward here could be the formation of a citizens’ committee able to guide a renovation effort. It wouldn’t have to be huge — perhaps in the 12-to-16 member range. And whatever approach it decides on, it should be mindful of our City’s history and its vision for the future.
When it comes to improving the revenue stream at the Community Centre, Dawson is also contemplating ways to improve public usage of the Aquatic Centre — particularly by teens and young adults. The pool is very well used during the winter, but less so during the summer by
‘Maybe we could have movie nights or theme nights — say, a Singles Night,” she said during a recent discussion of where she wants to go with the Community Centre and the The Forum. “It’s a marvellous space.”