The new-and-improved Queensborough Community Center is officially open for business.
The centre opened its doors to the public on May 21 but waited until July 6 to hold its official grand opening. The community centre, which is the site of the City of New Westminster's first neighbourhood hub, includes a library branch, police work spaces, multi-purpose rooms, an expanded fitness centre, a licensed child care for children three to five years of age, a community kitchen and a living room with a fireplace.
"I hesitate to say this, but I've heard the words, 'Oh, this is our country club,'" said facility manager Renee Chadwick about the community's reaction to the new facility. "It's lovely. It doesn't feel like a civic facility."
Past and present Queensborough residents attended the July 6 "centre warming" that included children's crafts in the library, entertainment, a sampling of programs and services, displays and information, and police and fire services demonstrations. It also featured the official ribbon cutting ceremony and the unveiling of the new rain garden feature.
"It was like a house party," Chadwick said. "They came and sat, enjoyed the entertainment. As families came, their kids found new things at the centre they didn't know we had."
The $7.67-million project involved a 13,500-square-foot addition and upgrades to some aspects of the existing building, such as the exterior and the roof.
"When they come in, they can't believe the building and the state of the art design," Chadwick said.
The community living rooms provide a place where residents can meet with friends or just sit and relax, while the weight room is providing a place where people can work out in a space overlooking the grounds in a cooler environment because of the new-and-improved cooling systems.