Watford service groups want Centennial renovated not closed

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Watford service groups say Centennial Hall is vital to their work and should be refurbished.

A consultant recently told Warwick Council the 50 year old community hall is not up to code and suggested it should be closed instead of sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into it.

He suggested community events could be accommodated in either the Warwick Hall or the local arena.

That caused concern from groups like the Watford Optimists who filled the council chambers in Warwick Thursday.

Mark Hamel says the club uses Centennial for almost all of its fundraisers and has 10 booked for 2017 already. “Of those 10, only two could be accommodated at the arena,” he told council. Hamel says the arena seats only 180 where the hall can seat 250. He says without Centennial Hall, the Optimists would make less money to donate to community projects.

Doug Hollingsworth a Rotarian agreed. He suggested if council is going to renovate the hall, it should try to expand it. “We find when we rent it and put on something like a fish fry or Mother’s Day… the hall is a touch small; we could use more room.”

Members of the gun club who maintain and use the shooting range in the basement are also concerned saying they would not be able to rebuild if the hall were closed. They add inspectors call it one of the best ranges in the province.

Mayor Todd Case says the municipality will give more time for the pubic to make comments before it considers what to do with the hall.

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