Does Sooke need a new community centre? Absolutely, without question. Should the district borrow money to make it happen? Absolutely.
The Sooke region is one of the fastest growing municipalities on southern Vancouver Island. Enrolment in schools in SD 62 is rising while in other regions they are closing schools. That means there are more youth, more elderly folks and more people in general moving out this way. What the district needs to do is provide them with a place to meet. Youthful unrest is common in places where there is little to do. Sure, there’s sports and the outdoors, but not all youth are oriented physically. We have no movie theatre, bowling alley or arcades.
The seniors on the opposite end of the spectrum also need a place to gather. They have been shuffled around from place to place for the past four or five years and they are yearning for a spot to call home. The Sooke Community Hall is old, musty and expensive to maintain. The association members running it are tired and would probably like to pass it onto the district. It is important though to keep the hall, as it is a historic building in so many ways.
Okay, so Sooke could have an amazing facility with space for youth and seniors and a larger library. It will cost, and the district will need to borrow money in order to make this happen. That question could be on the November ballot. It is imperative that those who would support such a move get out and vote.
Speaking about voting, Councillors Kerrie Reay and Kevin Pearson have stated they plan to run again. Others have not told us directly with their decisions being made in the next while. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a mayor and council that got along? It could happen — if we remember history and choose wisely.