Loon Lake will soon see some upgrades and improvements at its community hall, thanks to a grant from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD).
At its June 17 meeting, the board of the TNRD approved up to $140,000 in Federal Gas Tax funding, as well as a five per cent management fee, for work at the 42-year-old building.
The Loon Lake Community Recreational and Agricultural Society (LLCRAS) will be contributing $10,000 toward the project, and society member Lois Harper, who is on the grant committee, says that the money has been fundraised over a period of several years and socked away for capital improvements.
“There’s lots of room at the hall for improvements and upgrades,” Harper says. “The kitchen is quite small, and we want to move a wall to make for easier movement in it. We’re looking to make upgrades because of COVID-19, and move the liquor bar out of the kitchen and put it elsewhere in the hall so there’s more room in the kitchen.” In addition to a new bar area, there will be a new ticket area inside the hall.
There are also plans to bring the kitchen up to a commercial standard and get a permanent food service permit. At the moment the LLCRAS has to apply for a temporary food service permit every time they want to serve food or do a fundraiser involving food, such as the meat pie sale they hold every fall. “It’s a lot of work to do each time,” says Harper.
New energy-efficient windows that will increase heat retention have been donated, and the grant funding will cover the cost of labour and installation. “New windows will also create more light for the hall,” says Harper, noting that the current windows are quite small. More insulation will be added to the ceiling, and upgrades to the washrooms will make them more accessible.
The LLCRAS has also applied for funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust, to do some work not covered by the TNRD grant. “We want to paint the inside of the building, which is very dark right now, and we’d like a sliding door cooler for the bar area.”
Harper says that the hall is well-used throughout the year.
“We normally have a Winter Fest in February, a pancake breakfast in July, a chicken barbecue and horseshoe tournament in August, and the meat pie fundraiser in the fall, as well as Halloween and Christmas events. There are private events, and we have entertainment with music and food service. Those usually sell out because people don’t know the groups we bring in, and they want to support the community.
“We hope to increase the number of events by having a commercial kitchen and one that’s suitable for private functions.”
While the outside of the hall looks good, with a fairly new metal roof and nice paint, Harper says the interior is definitely in need of the upgrades, and that the society is very happy to get the grant.
“Thanks to the TNRD and director Sally Watson, and to the staff of the TNRD, who I’ve been working with for a year on this grant.”