(Left to right) Janet Warner, Corrie Giles, HWDSB Ward 15 Trustee Penny Deathe, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Ward 15 Councillor Judi Partridge, Andrew Haggert and 10-year-old Avery Mann cut the ribbon to open Waterdown Memorial Hall on Saturday, Sept. 16. – Julia Lovett/Metroland
After a lengthy renovation project that saw several delays, Waterdown’s Memorial Hall is once again open to the public.
Community members and members of the Lions Club, Waterdown Village Theatre, Flamborough Heritage Society and Creative Theatre Company gathered for the ribbon cutting to officially open the facility Saturday morning.
“I very much appreciate everyone’s patience. This project certainly took a little bit longer than was anticipated but it’s just absolutely wonderful to be able to stand here today,” said Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge.
The project, which included the installation of an elevator to make it accessible, was supposed to be completed in 2015, but ran into several setbacks — including a need for more parking to keep up to code once the additions were made.
Partridge explained that among the new amenities were refinished floors, doors, windows, wheelchair accessibility and air conditioning.
“It means that we can now use this building during the summer and it’s for public use so it’s for anybody to use it. If you want to book it, I think there’s a small charge,” she said, adding that to do so only requires a call to the City of Hamilton or a call to her office.
As part of the funding for the restorations, the Hamilton Future Fund grant played an integral role by contributing $600,000 for a total end project cost of $1.5 million. Partridge pointed out that the key impetus for the project was to make the 95-year-old building — one of only seven monuments in Canada erected and dedicated to those who fought and died in the Great War — accessible.
“A building has to be accessible for everybody, to be enjoyed by everybody. We’re all tax payers,” she said.
Mayor of Hamilton Fred Eisenberger was also on hand to thank the community for their patience and to recognize city staff for their efforts in seeing the work completed.
“Delays, unfortunately in some instances, are inevitable but the wait has been very, very worthwhile, so this is a classic — one of the classic institutions in our community,” he said. “It’s certainly in Waterdown worth preserving and worth putting back into good use.”