Rick Keevil at the Ravenscliffe Community Sale. (Jane Keevil Photo)
A thermometer in front of the Ravenscliffe Community Centre reveals the long journey to come.
A renovation of the 80-year-old hall is going to cost around $250,000 and currently, the fundraising sign is showing where the bank account sits, which is around $10,000.
The fundraising thermometer at the Ravenscliffe Community Centre. (Jane Keevil photo)
Rick Keevil is the President of the Ravenscliffe Community Centre Association. He says work has already started on the former one-room schoolhouse located just northeast of Huntsville.
“Initially we are going to do some renovations to the existing building,” explains Keevil as he oversees a large community garage sale at the centre. “We have a ceiling, a furnace to install, a soffit and fascia to put on and a new electrical panel.”
Keevil says the eventual goal is to expand the building to include a raised stage, with wheelchair accessible washrooms. It is all with an eye to creating a newer style community space for the young families in the Ravenscliffe area.
“We want to put a pavillion in with an ice surface on it the way they do in Sprucedale,” Keevil says.
He also wants to reach out to the many people who grew up in the area.
“A lot of the locals, their parents or grandparents went to school here,” he continues. “So we are going to try and set up a bit of a rogue’s gallery with a lot of the old pictures.
Community sale. (Jane Keevil photo)
There is a lot of history in this building.”
Currently, the community centre is out of action while renovations continue, but Keevil anticipates it will be ready by the spring for rentals. The hope is people will host their wedding receptions there, but also planned are family game nights and possibly a return of the popular community bingo game.
“The Ontario Lottery Corporation got involved and it got complicated,” Keevil admits. “We had to be a registered charity, but we are a non-profit, which isn’t the same thing.”
This weekend the Association is holding a community yard sale. “There is a lot of great stuff here,” says Keevil. “Some of it is still in original boxes.”
He says if there is anyone who would like to come and take what is left over they can give him a call at 705-783-9499.