The Parksville Community Centre Society (PCCS) is excited to soon offer space at a previous satellite campus for various groups in Parksville Qualicum Beach.
Duane Round, president of PCCS since November 2021, said the society aims to have its new facility at 223 Mills St. in Parksville open and ready by the end of March.
“There’s a lot of excitement out there. We’re excited, the community is excited. They’re all anxious to get back meeting again and have some fun in the community,” he said.
According to Round, the society has kept their eyes and ears open for a new facility since the City of Parksville officially signed the lease with the BGC Central Vancouver Island for 132 Jensen Ave. and awarded the contract for renovations.
The Mills Street facility, which totals 10,000 square feet on a one-acre property, will be leased for two years and managed and operated by the PCCS and volunteer community members. Although it was not the only facility under consideration before the society signed the lease, Round said it had the best potential.
In the past, the Mills Street property was used by Vancouver Island University and School District 69 (Qualicum), however, has been vacant for two years.
“We’ve come a long ways and we’re busy getting all the permits in place that we need to operate the facility safely… It’s got a beautiful courtyard in the middle that we’ve been working hard to get cleaned up. It’s just a beautiful area to go and sit - there’s picnic tables and benches,” he said. “One of the things that attracted us, too, is that it has a daycare.”
Round said the separate childcare building’s interior is in excellent condition, much like the main building, but does require exterior repairs for safe access. The society has talked with different childcare operators to potentially offer childcare in the future.
The entire Mills Street facility includes the main building, the childcare building, and a large storage shed. Although there is a basketball court on site already, it will be removed. However, PCCS is looking to install pickleball courts on the property.
Round said the plan is to provide space for as many groups as possible, but doesn’t plan to rent to any group long-term, as to keep opportunities open for as many groups as possible. The PCCS also hopes to host their own events as well, such as a food truck festival and farmers’ market.
While not receiving any funding from the city, Round said they have requested from the City of Parksville a letter of support, as well as from other community organizations, which they hope to use to potentially aid with grant funding.
For information, visit www.parksvillecentre.ca.