Anzac could be losing one of the community’s biggest staples.
At an information session on Monday, the RMWB said they’re recommending to demolition the Community Hall due to mold and structural damage.
Renovations were supposed to start in November but have been postponed for the time being.
The building has been around for over 20 years becoming a hotspot in the area for events and other activities.
Vice-President of the Anzac Recreation and Social Society Nicole Gardner tells Mix News they feel like they aren’t getting a choice.
“We don’t want to be rushed into anything, it’s very, very important to our community.”
The Society uses the hall for its programming which includes events with seniors and activities for kids.
“It’s the hub of our community. Everybody goes and talks and visits – it’s such an important part of the community.”
President of the Willow Lake Community Association Daryll Woytkiw says the building was paid for and built by Anzac. The RMWB took over the building through the 1995 Amalgamation Agreement.
“The municipality says they would like to work together with the community, in my view working together is consultation and trying to come up with a solution and with them requesting to demolish, that really doesn’t indicate that they’re working with the community.”
In an email, the municipality says they’re ‘firmly committed to exploring alternatives for community groups and residents in the area that have used the building.’
Meanwhile, Woytkiw and Gardner both believe there is no building in Anzac that can replace the Community Hall – this includes the Anzac Recreation Centre.
“It wasn’t designed for a community need, it was designed for a recreation need,” said Gardner.
The Rec Centre was built to accommodate the projected growth of Anzac, something that slowed down due to the recession. Woytkiw says the size, cost, and services can’t be compared to what the Hall offered.
“One was never built to replace the other.”
Moving forward, he notes they need to find out how the damage happened.
“We’re looking through the maintenance records, we’re looking to see what was done because obviously there are circumstances that have led to this – if we don’t figure out what happened or what got missed we’re going to have the same problems later.”
Woytkiw says the recommendation is also expected to go in front of Wood Buffalo council.