With funding provided in part by Northern Development, the renovation was made possible. A wide range of renovations modernize the historic facility and allow the hall to continue to be central to the community today. Improvements included re-levelling the hall's main floor and insulating the crawlspace. The kitchen has been updated in order to ensure Food Safe Certification so that the facility can be used to cater to public events. The washrooms are now upgraded with new plumbing and fixtures, and now ensure wheelchair accessibility. Out-of-date wheelchair access ramps have been replaced along the outside of the building, and finally, the floor in the building's addition has been replaced with access from the main hall opened up, allowing events to more easily fill the entire community hall.
Francois and Tchesinkut Lake Residents Undertake Major Hall Improvements
Francois Lake Community Hall has served the community for ninety-six years, and is an important hub for rural residents of Francois Lake, Tchesinkut Lake, the Southside of Francois Lake and the entire Burns Lake area. For the hall to continue to operate, a large modernization project was required, and community members began a major fundraising initiative in 2010.
"As the local economy was in a downturn with the pine-bettle epidemic and the slow down of world markets, the Francois Lake Hall Modernization project has created some excitement in the air! With the wonderful support of financial aid including Northern Development Initiative Trust, we are able to accomplish much of what is needed. Many of the local residents are quite excited about the new changes and keep asking me when I am out in the community ,when it will be completed."Joan McFee, Director, Francois Tchesinkut Lake Recreation Commission
"There is great anticipation to play cards in a warm hall in the winter months and to have other activities as well without having to stoke a heater!"Joan McFee, Director, Francois Tchesinkut Lake Recreation Commission
Positive Economic Impacts in Francois Lake
By saving the community hall, the Francois Tchesinkut Lake Recreation Commission has ensured that the facility will continue to operate as a central hub of community activity in the area for many years to come. The hall, in which many events are held throughout the year, acts as an important gathering place that sustains the rural way of life residents enjoy in the area. By making these improvements, and upgrading the facility to modern day standards, the Recreation Commission is also be more financially viable, as the numerous energy efficiency aspects of this project significantly contribute to lower overhead costs. The facility is expected to generate an increase in rental revenue due to its modernization and improved kitchen space.
In recent years, the hall has seen many local clubs move their events to other facilities due to the poor heating and inadequate kitchen facilities at the Francois Lake Hall. With the upgrades to the hall, the Recreation Commission has already seen a rise in the number of events. Revenues are predicted to see an increase as a result of the increased number of events, while the kitchen upgrades and Food Safe Certification will generate new revenue potential for community groups that can now cater to public events.
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