Goshen Community Center

communityWhen the Goshen Consolidated School was closed as a result of amalgamation of all the elementary schools in the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s, Goshen and the surrounding communities decided to acquire the facility (1991) and convert it into a community center. The decision was the result of the building being used by local groups such as: TOPS, Beavers, Cubs, Girl Guides, Red Cross, 4-H and many other social and recreational groups.

At the time, a board of directors was set up with representation from the fire department, bingo committee (ladies auxiliary of the fire dept.) and a committee for the centre. The centre committee met and began the process of turning the school into a facility that could be utilized by the community. Goshen Community and Recreation Centre was the name chosen by the group. Regular monthly meetings were held and the process of refurbishing the building to make it more useful and accessible for the public began.

In the fall of 1991, a new kitchen was built at the lower end of the auditorium and two bathrooms were added. Electrical work was also carried out. This work was financed by a Little Red School House Grant plus money donated to the centre by the bingo committee and the community centre itself.

From the beginning, many fundraisers were carried out to cover operating costs. Carrying out these functions were crucial to covering the operating, as well as capital costs.

In the summer of 1994, the center was fortunate to receive a Seed Grant which enabled them to employ three students. These students were able to work on the parking lot, playground and ball field areas. There was also exterior and interior painting done as well as general cleanup. Materials for this work were provided by the centre.

In 1995, the center committee did extensive renovations to the centre: new entrance that was wheel chair accessible, sound system, cupboards in the kitchen, air ventilation and a bar.

In 1997, the committee completed a new ball field adjacent to the centre.

In 1998, a CAP committee was formed and opened a CAP Site in the upper level of the building, forming the Goshen CAP Site. This has brought technology into our community for all ages as well as employed students in the area during the summer months. The workers have held IT training programs for the public as well as 4-H, Girl Guides of Canada, Mom’s & Tot’s and one-on-one training for  individuals. They have completed data collection of local graveyards which has been helpful to anyone doing genealogy. Typing and posters for organizations and events are ongoing year round. The workers hired at the site have increased their IT knowledge along with people skills and organizational skills.

In 1999, a new peaked roof was put on the centre at a cost of $21,000. Major businesses and contractors donated a  total of $6,500 towards this project. The centre acquired a $10,000 mortgage to complete this project which was paid in full in 2002 through fundraising activities.

In 2002 and 2003, the centre received the following grants:

Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s – $33,000

Nova Scotia Office of Health and Promotion – $10,000

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations – $3,351.48

This combined funding provided the opportunity to complete the following: New windows, two new doors, replaced siding on the front of building, painted the remainder of the building outside.  Painted the interior of the building, replaced the flooring upstairs and repaired the floor downstairs.  Purchased a generator and installed an outlet to make the centre an Emergency Measures Centre.  Completed the playground.  Wheel Chair ramp was built for the top level and a washroom was made wheel chair accessible on the top level.

A Mom’s & Tot’s Committee was formed during this period.  They held weekly activities for the preschool children and contributed a great deal into the upgrading of the playground.  The playground was dedicated to the memory of Troy Hudson , a young man from the community who died of a rare genetic condition known as Cockayne Syndrome.

In 2005, the Ladies Auxiliary of the District #6 Volunteer Fire Department opened a fitness centre in the upper level of the community centre.  Funding for this venture was obtained from the Province of Nova Scotia.

In 2008 grants were received from the New Horizon’s for Seniors Program for $20,000 and $10,000 from Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations for a new septic system.  With the $6,300 left over from the septic system replacement, the centre was able to renovate the washrooms on the lower level, install an additional sink in the kitchen and complete other minor repairs.