Fernie Community Centre renovations underway

The Fernie Community Centre kitchen will undergo renovations following negative feedback from the Shyanne Fundraiser Spaghetti Dinner.

After receiving a lot of negative feedback following the Smiles for Shyanne Fundraiser Spaghetti Dinner and Auction, council has moved forward with renovating the Fernie Community Centre kitchen.

Volunteers, including organizer Chris Inglis and kitchen team leader Rose Mangone voiced their complaints about the icy parking lot, broken chairs, non-functional kitchen appliances and no available dishes.

Mangone said that because there were no dishes available at the Community Centre, supplies had to be donated by Bridge Bistro.

“There was just nothing there,” Mangone noted. “It just makes it so hard to have a function when you have nothing. It’s pretty sad.”

In addition to not having access to dishes, Mangone said that when she tried to turn the stove on the dial fell into her hands, forcing her to call someone from the city to fix the stove so they could warm up pre-cooked food.

Mayor Mary Giuliano said that although renovations for the Community Centre are on the agenda, with a current remedial work budget of $7.49 million allocated to city buildings in need of repair, the Community Centre is simply not in the budget at this point in time.

“Until then we don’t really want to spend a whole lot of money to do something piecemeal now,” Giuliano said. “We have significant infrastructure in this town [and] we want to do more than just a little Band-Aid fix up in the kitchen.”

She went on to say, “The wonderful volunteers that put on that amazing dinner had to struggle a little bit, but it did work out and hopefully in the future when we do get it all done, we won’t have to worry about it.”

Fernie Fire Chief Ted Ruiter inspected the fan in the kitchen prior to the spaghetti dinner fundraiser and, according to Giuliano, the stovetop was deemed unusable.

“That was a safety issue that the fire chief was quite adamant about,” Giuliano said.

And despite ‘Band-Aid’ solutions not being in the plans, Giuliano noted that because of this safety issue, the city has moved forward with modifications in the kitchen to ensure it is functional for future renters.

“I’m so happy this is being done right away,” said Giuliano.

In terms of the lack of dishes, Mangone suggested that council supply the Community Centre with the dishes and utensils required, draft up a list of the supplies and lock them up, so that after each community event, if anything goes missing, the party hosting the event will be held responsible.

“It’s as simple as that,” Mangone said.