Vision 2020 – DREAM. PLAN. BUILD.

Highlands Facilities Renewal Committee — HCL AGM UPDATE (May 30, 2016)

by Susan Petrina, Committee Chair

The Highlands building committee has undergone some membership change over the past year with a few members departing due to other commitments. However, I’m pleased that we continue to have the support of the HCL board of directors, and we remain a strong and dedicated core team of 8 with active involvement by the Highlands Lawn Bowling Club (LBC).


My appreciation goes first to the following volunteers who continue to work with me on this exciting community development project:

Ericka Chemko                               Ann Parker (HCL board)

Audrey Hayward                              Barb Spencer (LBC)

Geoff Lilge                                 Nykie Starr (HCL board)

Karin Nelson

I also want to broadly thank everyone else who has met with me to date to share their insights, perspectives and professional experience. Your contributions are invaluable!

That said, we are recruiting for Highlands residents particularly with interest or experience in the areas of project management, fundraising and research, and any other neighbours who are excited and able to contribute to monthly meetings or join sub-committees with specific tasks.


I am thrilled to share with you the wonderful and inspiring news that community donations have already begun to roll in for our project! Members of the Highlands Garden Club, Highlands Ladies Bridge Club and the Highlands Historical Society have all donated funds to the community centre project.

On behalf of the HCL and community members at large, I express my sincere gratitude for your financial contributions because every dollar does make a difference. But perhaps even more importantly, knowing that we have your ongoing and enthusiastic support makes us continue to work hard and devote our time to seeing this project through from idea to reality.

The members of the HCL board and HFRC recognize the long history of volunteer contribution that has gotten us to where we are today both as a non-profit organization and as a cohesive, dynamic and engaged community.


Our progress slowed somewhat in 2015 due to various issues, but enthusiasm remains high and interest in our community project continues to grow with architects and other leagues expressing excitement and sharing insights and information.

Those in government and industry have shared encouragement to press on with our project despite the economic slowdown as firms are looking for projects and governments are seeking infrastructure opportunities to support. Furthermore, it is a great time to remember that the Highlands Community League celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2021, so the completion of our building project can serve as a significant component to this celebration and we will use this future benchmark to our full fundraising and promotional advantage.

We are in the Concept Phase of progress on the project (Phase 2 of the City’s project completion chart), and we have City staff assigned to guide us through the necessary steps. Currently, the HFRC team is preparing a summary document to synthesize all community surveys, project history and data gathered to date so that we can better understand the current and future needs of the community. This summary document will then be presented to a pre-selected list of architects to better inform them as to the needs, wishes and dreams of Highlands residents.

Sustainability, flexible design and energy efficiency remain paramount goals for the project and committee members. Design firms that share this perspective, as well as those having worked with volunteers on community projects and thus have experience with extensive community consultation, will be considered for pre-selection to express their interest on the project. Once this step in the process is complete, we can then proceed with more detailed community consultation on building and site design.

In the meantime, a fundraising strategy will be executed as we can never lose sight of the reality that we must have all funds in place before we can begin to build our dream community centre.



  • complete summary and compile bid documents
  • contact architectural firms for EOI (Expression Of Interest) on the project

(By end of summer 2016)

  • interview and select a firm to produce high level concept drawings and begin the work of consulting with the community on next steps
  • conduct environmental tests (soil, geological) to better ascertain site excavation/ remediation costs


  • recruit additional community volunteers to serve on sub-committees
  • draft fundraising strategy

For more information or to get involved, email me at:


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