The new Oakville Community Centre keys are now in the hands of the Oakville Community Club, and the construction project has been completed. 

Club President Eric Delong gave PortageOnline a sneak peek of the facility before the Open House that takes place on June 1. 

"There's going to be two entrances. They'll be the daycare on the right, and then for people coming to use the hall, it'll be on the left."

delongEric Delong

You walk into the lobby area through the left door entrances with the hall doors toward the left and the Daycare entrance toward the right. 

"Once you're in the lobby, doors to the left go to a larger lobby area, and to the right would be an entrance to the daycare section of the building. Inside the left section is a boardroom. In the larger lobby area, there's our kitchen off to the right and bathrooms straight ahead down a hallway. Then we've got a pretty good bar set up here, too. So, it's going to be outside of the main hall. We had lots of conversations about pros and cons of that, but ultimately, we thought it would be better to have it out in the lobby."

Delong explains the main hallway has a nice grand entrance and a tremendous size inside. 

"There's going to be capacity for roughly 274 people. It's a nice-sized space for different wedding sizes, and even small weddings would fit here, too. Pretty much any function could be held here. Our old hall is at the end of its lifespan. So, it's been a long time coming to replace it."

The ceiling has three large circular lights aligned along the length of the hall in the centre of the ceiling. 

"After you leave the hall, there's a pretty state-of-the-art kitchen that we've got, as well. We've got all the stuff that you would want in here. And it kind of wraps around the corner there. We're going to be able to have pretty much anything in here that people want to do for event hosting or meal prep or anything like that."

He then led us to the board room.

"We're still waiting on our table and chairs, but this will be a nice spot for business meetings or any kind of boardroom presentations that people want to do. It can be a separate rental. If people don't want to rent the whole building, they can just come and rent this room." 

Board roomBoard room

We then went toward the doorway for the daycare separating that part of the building during the day. A room for their executive director was there along with a staff room.

HallMain Hall

"There's going to be two different daycare rooms. This first is just going to be for infant spaces. There will be weigh infant spaces in here and they'll have their own separate space from the rest of the kids. There's a change station and bathroom. The bigger kitchen will be on the main side, but they'll be able to be self-sufficient in here for the majority of the day."

Further east was the main part of the daycare. 

"We've got lots going on here. There are cubbies for all the kids. There's kind of a partition if they want to separate the room for nap time. Lots of natural light. Mini toilets and sinks for all the kids. There's going to be a full kitchen for the daycare, with a fridge and stove."

Delong says the cost comes to about the $4.7 million mark and was much higher than they initially planned. 

"There were a few factors involved with that, but inflation and exchange rates didn't help us. We're fortunate that we were able to still get it done. We still have more fundraising to do. So, we're trying to make sure everyone is aware of that. We still have a deficit that we'd like to erase. We're still going to be fundraising, but we had cash flow financing to help make sure we could just get the project done on time."

He describes the experience of finally holding the keys as great after having worked on the project for so many years.

"It still feels like there's a lot to do behind the scenes yet, too. You kind of stay focused on the task, but it definitely feels good. They built it in a year, but I mean it's been in discussions and planning stages for, I'm going to say, seven years-ish; somewhere in there. It's been a long time coming."

"The Daycare is trying to do lots of fundraising, too. While we have our Table for 200 event, on June 7th, that's mostly spoken for. But I think there are a few tables left. That's our next one coming up and there will be more stuff coming. We have only so many volunteers to organize things, so you try and just do what you can." 

Delong adds they need about $700,000 more, noting that's a moving target. 

"I'll say thanks to everyone that's been involved with this. This just doesn't happen if there aren't a ton of different people and groups involved. All the donations we received so far are greatly appreciated, If anyone is thinking of donating, we would encourage that, as well. All the volunteers, all the levels of government, all the people behind the scenes that aren't going to get credit, we couldn't do it without all of them."

You can make donations at their website or call Delong. Donations can be made online without talking to anyone. They take credit cards and cheques, and they'd be happy to have a conversation with you about how the money will be directed.