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Rankin rec hall renos create more space

It may not be the perfect solution but folks in Rankin Inlet have a lot more space for gatherings and celebrations after renovations were recently completed on their community hall.

Recreation co-ordinator David Clark said the hamlet applied for funding for the project through the Government of Nunavut’s (GN) gas-tax fund.

People line-up for cards to the weekely bingo game at the newly- renovated community hall on Sept. 27, in Rankin Inlet. Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

He said the proposal included the renovations to the hall, as well as turning the former hockey dressing-room area (formerly the swimming pool) into the new fitness centre.

“We haven’t completed the fitness-centre part of the work quite yet because we were in a hurry to get the community hall finished in time for the Kivalliq Trade Show,” said Clark. “Now that’s done, so the focus is now on completing the fitness-centre part of the project.”

Clark said the project is “a good facelift that we desperately needed at the rec hall and it’s going to benefit a lot of people in our community.

“But, at the same time,” he continued, “this is a short-term solution to a long-term problem we have. We still need a new community hall, but this is a five-year solution that will benefit almost everyone and who knows what happens after that.”

The hamlet contributed about $50,000 into the effort, with the Rankin Inlet Fitness Society donating $25,000 and the GN putting in $250,000, said Clark.

The work involved relocating the community radio station, removing the upstairs mezzanine that housed Clark’s office and a minor hockey storage area, as well as removing the dressing-room areas to add the extra space.

Work was also done to improve the stage and a $22,000 grant was approved by Nunavut Recreation and Sport to purchase and install a new sound system in the community hall.

Clark said the staff should be trained on the sound system when a company representative arrives within the next few weeks.

He said the sound system for the new arena should, hopefully, also be installed within a month or so.

There is more available space following recent renovations to the community hall in Rankin Inlet.
Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

“The sound system for the new arena wasn’t part of the tender, so the municipality had to absorb the cost for that and, once we get inside the building, we’ll be installing our own PA system,” he said.

“We’re hoping the hall’s sound system will be ready to go before the fire department’s Spookfest fundraiser, but I have to be sure my guys know how to set-it up properly before we go about that.”

Clark said he’s pleased with the work done on the community hall to date.

He said the main benefit of the renovations was adding needed space to the hall.

“Our hall was way too small for some of the events we were trying to run, such as at Christmas time when we’re doing games and dances,” he said.

“It was totally packed during those activities, and way too crowed for everyone, but now we have a little more space to relieve some of that pressure.”