The Portage la Prairie Rotary Club received a presentation from the Oakville Community Club at this weeks' virtual meeting.

Oakville's current hall was erected in the 1940s and wasn't constructed for long-term public use. Halls built in that era were typically machine shed type buildings lined with insulation and a dance floor installed.

Dennis Galbraith, chair of the construction committee, says the building is at the end of its timeline.

"For us, this is a project that moves our community forward from the 1950s to the 21st century. We have such tremendous gratitude to the community elders who built the original community center in 1949," says Galbraith. "It's time to renew that. This is about paying it forward to the next generation."

The group has taken a break from fundraising throughout the pandemic but is optimistic to get things rolling in the summer. Galbraith notes even though it may not seem like a lot is happening, they're working behind the scenes.

"The new site, beside the arena, has been acquired. The subdivision is complete. The title was created and transferred to the Community Club ownership," says Galbraith. "The required zoning variances, rezoning bylaws, and conditional use permits are all completed, so the site is ready to be worked on and built. It's ready to go."

The new community centre will boast approximately 10,500 sq ft. The daycare portion will have approximately 3500 sq ft leaving the remaining 7000 sq ft for the hall, a small meeting room, a certified kitchen, washrooms, and mechanical rooms. Galbraith gives us a cost estimate.

"Somewhere in the 2.5, 2.6, maybe $2.7 million range to build the facility. Nailing down that exact cost with inflation, then with all of the COVID-related renovation demand that went on, has made locking down that value a little tricky, but we know it's in that neighbourhood."

There are five acres of land purchased, which could lead to establishing a new arena in the future, that could be connected to the hall.

Those who would like to donate can do so on their website. Galbraith says the hall is the heart of Oakville.

"It is the center of the community for gathering. If you don't replace these kinds of infrastructures, your community loses its sense of community."