The Central Community Club has been torn-down in Kenora, as the City of Kenora, volunteers and community members work to start construction on a new clubhouse for the Central rink. It’s taken roughly three years for the 70-80 year-old building to come down, and a new building of the same size is in the works.

“Central Community Club volunteers have worked very hard over the last few years to continue to operate the building in the condition that it was, but the time has come that it needed to come down. It’s a big project for volunteers, and any help would be much appreciated,” said Heather Kasprick, city clerk for the City of Kenora.

She added $100,000 was allocated for the construction of a new Central Community Club. The rest of it is set to be built through community partnerships, added Kasprick.

Kenora Kinsmen club have donated $10,000, and volunteers have raised $10,000 through their own efforts.

“We still do need more money to make the new building a reality,” said Jeff VanWalleghem, a lead volunteer for the project.

“We have over the last five years searched high and low for funding opportunities from upper levels of government with none that fits the criteria of this type of infrastructure. We are open to any types of fund-raising opportunities, cash donations, or donations in kind that people or businesses want to make. It has been a long road up to this point but we need the communities help to make the new building a reality.”

Solid Construction Kenora tore down the building free-of-charge on Wednesday, which was part of their donation towards the rebuilding project. Solid Construction also offered to help build the new clubhouse.

Another local contractor has also offered to construct the roof of the new building. Bestway Rentals also helped out with emptying the building, before the demolition.

Volunteers are now awaiting engineer drawings for the new building, before applying for building permits and beginning construction on the new clubhouse. Volunteers are hoping to have the new building ready for this hockey season, but it may be tough to reach such a tight deadline.

Volunteers did have to pay $2,000 to $3,000 for waste disposal fees after the demolition of the building. Volunteers have raised roughly $120,000 towards the project so far. There is currently no estimated cost for the new building.

Central is the home of Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Neil Strain of Kenora, who played for the New York Rangers in the NHL's Original Six.

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