Michelle Bell, executive director of Cowichan Valley Youth Services, looks over plans on July 10 with Premier John Horgan for a new youth hub at the Island Savings Centre. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

New youth hub planned for Island Savings Centre in Duncan

Capital campaign for project begins this summer

Premier John Horgan agrees with many in the Cowichan Valley that a youth hub should be established in the Island Savings Centre.

Horgan took a tour of the centre’s old pool site on July 10 with Michelle Bell, executive director of Cowichan Valley Youth Services, Sharon Jackson, chairwoman of the Island Savings Centre Commission, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor and other local dignitaries to determine the space’s viability as a new youth centre.

Horgan said he has had numerous discussions with Bell over many years regarding setting up a youth hub in the region, and he thinks the old pool site is the perfect location.

“The type of facility we envisioned is a one-stop shop where youth can check out employment opportunities, a place where they can socialize and have fun and those who need it can get help with mental health issues and addictions,” he said.

“This is the centre of this community and youth feel comfortable here, and there may be a new school nearby too.”

Asked if the province might contribute funding to help set up the youth hub, Horgan simply said he had been “hooked” by the tour.

Horgan announced with great fanfare last week that the province will help fund the construction of a long-anticipated new hospital to replace the aging Cowichan District Hospital.

The Island Savings Centre Commission recently voted in favour of partnering with Cowichan Valley Youth Services to renovate the front of the old pool site for the purpose of creating a youth hub.

The centre will house all CVYS youth and family support and counselling services, add an additional youth drop-in as well as provide new youth-service partnership opportunities.

The centre is intended to be a place where youth and families can connect with multiple youth services, and service providers can collaborate and share space to provide timely, wrap-around care.

RELATED STORY: YOUTH HOMELESSNESS TAKES SPOTLIGHT IN COWICHAN

The Island Savings Centre is considered a perfect location as it already provides recreation, education and services to promote health and wellness for youth and their families.

Bell said Horgan personally worked on creating a family centre years ago when he was MLA for what is now Malahat-Juan de Fuca.

“Unfortunately, due to the political climate at the time, it did not come to fruition,” she said.

“Now the seeds he planted years ago have finally grown. We are so fortunate to have a premier who knows our community’s unique needs.”

Bell said a capital campaign for $1 million for the renovation will begin this summer.

She said she’s not anticipating having much of a problem raising the money.

“The community is interested in this project and we’ve already been contacted by the United Way and a number of banks,” Bell said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

We asked you: Your opinions are firm on vaccinations

Should vaccinations be mandatory for school enrolment? We asked you that question… Continue reading

Business notes: Nomination deadline close for Commercial Building Awards

Organizers are expecting a larger than normal number of nominations for the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Carlow and Jacksun are on TV already: they’re in the World of Dance trailer

Don’t forget to catch them as they perform on Feb. 26

Carl Weber column: God – it’s just my opinion

I have no real doubt that there is a design

Valley schools head into Island boys hoops tourneys this week

Cow High, Brentwood, Duncan Christian and Chemainus all in the mix

Coming up in Cowichan: Estuary fundraiser, landlord info and more

Chance for landlords to learn about their rights and responsibilities The Cowichan… Continue reading

Vancouver Island petition to decriminalize all drugs continues to collect signatures

A Courtenay couple is collecting signatures for their petition to decriminalize drugs in Canada

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Most Read