Ask any member of the Board of the Burritt’s Rapids Community Association (BRCA) to list the pros and cons of hardwood, softwood, laminate, cork, vinyl sheet, vinyl tile, and linoleum flooring, not to mention subfloor thickness, click, glue and nailing options, and you’ll get an earful.

It’s not because this level of knowledge is a Board requirement or that members are changing professions anytime soon. It’s just been a big couple of years for fundraising, writing grant applications, planning and, finally, implementation of major upgrades to the historic Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall. So, what’s taken so long?

Board Chair, Inge Van Gemeren, laughs. “Reaching consensus! There are so many people in the community invested in the hall, heart and soul, so it took time – sometimes a LOT of time and multiple meetings – to reach final agreement with everyone.”

“Age of the building was also a factor,” she adds. “When you deal with an old structure – it was built in 1855 – there can always be elements of surprise when you start lifting floors and opening up ceilings. You have to be prepared.”

Fortunately, there were few surprises. The ceiling work in the main hall – removing the well-worn drop ceiling and fluorescent lights and creating a classic beamed look – was completed in September of 2016. This work also included re-painting the walls and trim, addition of a new stage curtain, and installation of ceiling fans to take some of the load off the air conditioning system.

In October 2017 a new subfloor was installed and industrial-grade laminate flooring added throughout the main floor, including the hall, kitchen, bathrooms, annex and flow-through areas.

So, what’s next for the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall? Van Gemeren notes that bathroom upgrades, the creation of under-stage storage, the balance of interior painting, exterior painting and porch work are yet to come.

In the meantime, the Board and volunteers will take a bit of breather to host a celebration of the community’s successes to date and acknowledge the generous financial support of its major project sponsors the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and the City of Ottawa and ongoing support of the Township of North Grenville.

On Wednesday, November 29th, please join the Burritt’s Rapids Community Association Board, major sponsors, invited dignitaries, sustaining donors, volunteers, community members and the general public for the Annual General Meeting and Hall Social at the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) portion of the evening will take place from 7:00pm until 8:00pm and will include a review of the annual report and election of Board Members. Interested members of the general public who live within a five kilometre radius of the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall are eligible, and encouraged, to stand for one of seven (7) board seats.

Celebratory speeches and photo ops with all of our sponsors and donors will immediately follow the AGM. The evening will close with the cutting of cake and refreshments.


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