Glebe Park clubhouse in sorry state
By Chad Ingram
Published Jan. 29, 2019
The Glebe Park and museum committee is hoping Dysart et al council will do something about the clubhouse building in the park.
The building was constructed by the Haliburton Legion in the field at Glebe Park in the 1980s as a permanent stage for a bluegrass festival it hosted at the time. It consisted of a full basement, roof and three insulated walls, with an open side.
When the festival was discontinued, a temporary wall of windows was added to the front and it was taken over by the Haliburton Highlands Nordic Trail and Ski Club Association, which has used the structure as a warming shelter for the children's jack rabbit program it conducts in the park each winter.
About 50 to 75 kids partake in the program each Saturday during the winter months. The ski club contributes to trails work in the park, and the municipality officially took ownership of the building about a decade ago.
As committee chairman Jim Blake told Dysart et al councillors during a Jan. 22 meeting, this year, the ski club is using a garage as a warming shelter for kids in the program, since the state of the club house has left it unusable. Not only has the building generally deteriorated over the years, but Blake said that mice have long made the structure their home and that this fall, a family of raccoons moved in.
Also, while the current use of the building has been grandfathered, it does not meet the building code for an assembly building, as it does not contain running water, washrooms, or meet accessibility standards.
Blake said the committee felt whatever is done with the building is a municipal responsibility.
“Through our public consultation, there is a real need for indoor space for museum programming,” Blake said, suggesting that a renovated or replacement building could double as space for the museum, and for the ski club. “We have a greater use for an indoor space.”
Blake said the committee had gotten an estimate for removal and replacement insulation in the current structure, and that it would cost approximately $18,000.
“So, we don't have a solution for you,” Blake quipped, explaining the committee just wanted to put the state of the structure on council's radar.
“All we're asking is for you to pay attention,” he said.
Mayor Andrea Roberts said there was a big cost differential between replacing a warming shelter and outfitting a building with plumbing and sewer services.
“It makes a huge financial cost difference,” Roberts said.
“We don't need anything fancy, we just need an indoor space,” Blake said.
Roberts said she would put the issue back to the committee for further investigation.
“I would leave that as an agenda item for that committee to really look it,” she said.
Councillor John Smith said he thought that council needed to decide whether the construction of a modern recreation complex was going to be a priority for council for the term.
“We don't have the thing that many people in the community feel is important,” Smith said.
Roberts said she saw the Glebe Park building as a separate issue.
Blake has chaired the committee some 12 years, and Councillor Nancy Wood-Roberts will be taking over that role.