Beauval celebrates temporary hall

Several members of the Beauval community gathered to celebrate the grand opening of their new, temporary community hall May 14 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a barbecue lunch. The community is now fundraising to bring a larger recreation facility to its village after a fire destroyed their arena last year.

by Sabine Gibbins

While waiting for a new recreation facility to be finalized, Beauval residents can still enjoy the comforts and convenience of a community gathering place.

The northern village’s new community hall, which is connected to the village office, was recently renovated to include space for activities and meetings.

However, as councillor and deputy-mayor Elaine Malbeuf explained during a celebration May 14, the community hall is only a temporary solution.

There are plans for a future, permanent social centre to replace the local arena, which was destroyed by fire in April 2010. and housed a hall in the upper mezzanine.

“While the community now has use of the newly renovated hall, fundraising for a new recreation complex of the same nature as the arena is on the minds of everyone,” Malbeuf said.

Since early last year, the community has raised $10,000 toward the new facility through fundraising initiatives. The community continues to seek out corporate sponsorship, as well.

“We don’t have much capital money to put toward a new facility right now,” Malbeuf said to the crowd gathered at the opening. “So, that’s why we have to come up with something in the interim. It will help us until we are able to look at building a new facility.”

The contract for the demolition of the arena has been awarded and work was scheduled to commence last week, she added, and is slated to take over a period of several months.

“Some of the material is also salvageable,” Malbeuf noted.

In the meantime, the community is focusing on ways to fundraise for a new facility, the proposal of which has been put forth by fourth-year students from the engineering department at the University of Saskatoon under the leadership of a professor.

“The students put together a facility plan for us, and at the end of the day, it would cost us more than $13 million,” Malbeuf said.

In contrast, the community hall renovations cost a little less than $20,000.

“We thought, ‘what are we going to do? We don’t have enough capital’,” she said.

A phased-in approach for the facility turned out to be a more financially sound idea, Malbeuf added.

The hope is for the proposed building to be placed where the arena was.

Village administrator Marie Lavallee said it’s still being decided what exactly will be included in the phased-in approaches, but the priorities for the community come in the way of a hall and an arena.

“This facility is not big enough to host large events like weddings,” she noted.

Yvonne Prusak, community planner from Northern Municipal Affairs, was also on hand, to inform the public about how they can become involved in an integrated land-use management plan.

“The beauty of a community plan is it comes from you,” Prusak said. “You know your community better than we do. Let’s develop it into something you want and is your own. Let’s make it something really unique in northwestern Saskatchewan.”

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