Welcome to Virtual Focus Group 4.1 The Community Centre.

The Community Center will be the Tim Horton’s, the Legion Hall, the dance club, the country club, the club, where you go as much for the exercise as for the camaraderie and the sense of belonging that you feel (and often need). It will make you feel “part of the Tribe”.

It seems to us that the key function of a Community Center is to be the “glue” that holds us all together, kind of a social center of gravity. As new people move into the community this is where everyone meets to form new friendships. That’s important because as we age it’s just too darned easy to stay inside and let our lives shrink, when we need so much to get out and be active.

We’d like to propose a Community Center that encourages contact and inter-activity. Depending on the results of this survey we’d do something like this:

We’ll start with a feature that has proven popular in other communities. You’ll have to go out and get your mail anyway, so what if we installed the group mailbox in a room off the foyer so you could be warm and dry as you sort your mail? There’d be a bulletin board and a recycling bin for the junk mail. Chances are, you’ll encounter some neighbours there, and when you’ve got your mail you might then choose to wander inside for a little socializing.

There would be a Great Room full of natural light from tall windows where you’ll be able to play cards, ping-pong, shuffleboard, or billiards, things like that. It will be suitable for the occasional party and general carousing, with a wet bar and BYOB* storage. We know a similar place where the residents hold a weekly TGIF in their community center. Retired people saying “thank God it’s Friday” seems a little funny, but why not?

There would be a decent-sized indoor swimming pool, or resistance pool, – the kind where you swim against a current – with poolside lounging, showers and changing rooms. Right next to it would be a well-equipped gym with possibly an instructor for group and individual fitness sessions, exercise classes, yoga.

There would be a small library where we can all recycle our book collections.

There would be high-speed wireless and a big flat screen TV for computer games and sporting events and other group watching phenomena, such as a Coronation Street Club. (Yes people do that – you know who you are).

The Community Center would be home to the Meaford Haven Business Club™ (BC). You may want to help manage the Club, or be part of the skills exchange for which the BC will find assignments. The revenues would be split between you and the BC to help pay some of the center’s overhead. This would be entirely voluntary for those who’d like to offer their skills and knowledge for the good of the community, keep active, and make some money.

We envision this Community Center running like a private Country Club, with a manager and staff. There might even be a licensed restaurant. It doesn’t have to be super-fancy, but we’re certain of this; the facility is necessary. We’ll need a place for official condo corporation meetings and other business, and besides, community centers generally add value to everyone’s home.

Meaford Haven, without a Community Center would be just another subdivision; with one it becomes a genuine community, a kind of Club where you’d be happy to belong.

* BYOB: Bring Your Own Bottle.

 


Most Adult Lifestyle Communities feature a community centre with recreation facilities, social gathering places, and administrative offices. Two things in our first survey that we fully embraced by the majority were the swimming pool and exercise facilities, and there were some interesting suggestions offered so let's begin with those.

Swimming Pool? YesNo
a. Outdoor, seasonal YesNo
b. Indoor, year round YesNo
c. Salt water pool that uses no chlorine YesNo
d. Resistance pool YesNo
e. Indoor pool opens to outdoor patio in warm weather. YesNo

f. Comments?

Exercise Facility? YesNo
a. Full time salaried fitness trainer. YesNo
b. Trainer available, sessions paid on an individual basis. YesNo
c. Woman's fitness trainer. YesNo
d. Fitness classes. YesNo
e. Yoga classes. YesNo

f. Comments?

Social gathering space would be like:

a. A living room. YesNo
b. A coffee shop YesNo
c. A pub YesNo
d. A hotel lobby YesNo
e. A church fellowship hall YesNo

f. Comments?

Should there be a licensed restaurant? YesNo

Comments?

Office space for community organizers and the Business club? YesNo
An indoor group mail box where you can stay warm and dry while you sort your mail. YesNo
A small library. YesNo
A kitchen. YesNo

In the first survey many of you offered some thoughtful remarks that helped us refine our thinking. We remain interested in your opinions, so please fire away.