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City not maximizing Eastlink Centre’s potential

A report on the management and operation of the Eastlink Centre that was ordered after a $1.6 million deficit was found last fall points to missed opportunities in programming as a key issue.

The report was compiled and presented to the Corporate Services Committee by Health Systems Group yesterday. President Kim Snider says when the city built the Eastlink Centre, they didn’t fully understand how to best operate a facility of that size and scope.

“It’s not uncommon in most municipalities across this country that that’s the case. It’s a different beast and it’s a different thing. It’s a spectacular facility, you’ve never had anything like this before and it takes something different to operate.”

The report stressed that to date the Easlink Centre has simply been functioning as a rec centre, but that in order to be successful it’s operating model needs to one of purpose within the community through better programming and engagement.

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“I think that’s the number one component that needs to happen so that more people are engaged in something there. There needs to be more programming, more events, that sort of thing.”

Snider says there are lots of opportunities for the Eastlink Centre’s potential to be maximized by implementing programs that appeal to a variety user groups.

Some examples included fitness or nutrition programs for high school students who are already spending their mornings there or children’s programs that could be held in tandem with programs for moms or even seniors.

A more detailed report is still being compiled for administration, who will work to have an action plan based on the recommendations ready for some time early this summer.

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