After years of work and funding delays the new Labrador Wellness Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is slated to be completed by 2020. The announcement the funding was now in place was at the Lawrence O’Brien Arts Centre on April 4.
Numerous politicians were in attendance at the event, including Premier Dwight Ball, MP Yvonne Jones, MHA Perry Trimper and Happy Valley-Goose Bay Deputy Mayor Bert Pomeroy. Jones was there to announce the federal government is contributing up to $7.5 million to the project. Another $12 million was announced in the recent provincial budget and the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay is kicking in $6 million, bringing the total cost to just over $25 million.
Ball said the centre has been on his radar since he took office and was one of the first issues he discussed with town council. He praised local recreation groups, volunteers and politicians for all the work they put into the project so far.
“We are pleased to work collaboratively with the federal government and the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay to maximize resources to contribute to achieving a healthier tomorrow," Ball said.
The crowd applauded when Jones also commended community leaders and groups and their commitment to the need for the centre.
“For all of those who had a start in this project and those who will be here until the end, I commend you for the hard work that you’ve done. Without your commitment we wouldn’t be here today providing you with the investment capital to make it all happen.”
Jones said the current and previous council had pushed the project, as well as local recreation groups.
The centre is planned to have a 25-meter pool, a gymnasium, a walking/running track, a fitness room with cardio and weight equipment, multipurpose rooms and a 60 space daycare.
Bert Pomeroy, Deputy Mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, said the project has been in the works since 2013.
“It’s involved two provincial governments, numerous provincial minsters and premiers, two town councils, many town employees and one member of parliament,” he said.
Pomeroy said the centre will be operated by the YMCA and will employ up to 100 people during construction, and up to 40 full time and part time positions once completed. He acknowledged former mayor Jamie Snook and his involvement and commitment to the project, as well as numerous community volunteers who helped with fundraising.