The Parksville Community Centre closed its doors to the public on Dec. 31, 2020, as a community centre. (Mandy Moraes photo)

The Parksville Community Centre closed its doors to the public on Dec. 31, 2020, as a community centre. (Mandy Moraes photo)

Parksville Community Centre Society asks city to keep centre open

No motion made to reconsider agreement

The Parksville Community Centre Society (PCCS) has asked city council to not close the doors on the centre.

PCCS president Holly Heppner and society director Duane Round went virtually before city council via Zoom on Jan. 18, to give presentation regarding the conclusion of the Parksville Community Centre (PCC) operating agreement. Dec. 31, 2020, marked the last day of the agreement with the city and the last day the PCC’s doors were open to the public as a community centre since the council’s decision to use the facility for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island.

Round said they received many letters from the community in support of the PCCS, and that many more were sent directly to the city.

Round said a petition to “save the Parksville Community Centre,” which already has more than 900 signatures, shows that the society has “enormous support” coming from the community to continue the PCC.

READ MORE: Rally planned to protest closure of Parksville Community Centre

“Closing the PCC will have a detrimental effect on citizens of all ages, including on the local economy. The centre was built, funded and operated by dedicated volunteers and feel they should be consulted on this substantial shift.”

He said council was not given a “mandate to repurpose” the PCC and claimed the decision to do so was made in closed meetings away from the public eye.

“We are asking you to put a hold on this process until people can comment on this decision. The people that have worked so hard to make a place to gather, and the many users over the years that continue to use or attend events at the PCC are very saddened and feel betrayed by Parksville council.”

Heppner said many members of the community have shown that they do care about the centre and have a desire to save it.

She concluded the presentation and asked for any member of council to make a motion to reinstate the operating agreement between the city and the PCCS, and for council to listen to the “almost thousand” citizens who signed the petition.

When Round and Heppner concluded, they were thanked by Mayne for their presentation. No members of council made a motion to reconsider the agreement.

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