CLOVERALE — It won’t be a new building once proposed to replace the dated facility, but the Cloverdale Branch #6 of the Royal Canadian Legion will soon undergo a major renovation.
Modernization of Branch 6, as it’s known, is a key part of the two-year, $304,000 reno project.
Half of the money will come from a Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program grant, the other half from branch reserves.
“The building is sound, even though it is 60 years old,” said Glenn Thomsen, chair of the branch’s building renovation committee. “We’ve had the roof examined along with the building itself, it’s all sound, but it hasn’t really been kept up to a modernized look, colours and interior decorating schemes over the years.”
The original plan was to have the branch move to an entirely new building next door, in the lot to the west on 57th Avenue, but the deal fell apart.
“We were in negotiations with Surrey City Development Corporation and Townline Housing about selling our property and being incorporated into Phase One of Cloverdale West,” Thomsen explained.
A subsequent mail-in survey of the branch’s 1,800 members last spring found support for a major renovation to the current facility.
The project has since moved forward at a rapid pace.
“We were 36 months working with SCDC and Townline Housing and I think everyone was looking forward to a new building and change,” he said.
“So when that fell apart, the dejection was sizable. So the minute we had an opportunity to do a major renovation, and only have to spend $150,000 on that and not $300,000, it gave people a rejuvenation of enthusiasm.”
Live music and a dance floor will be part of the renovated branch, Thomsen said.
“By modernizing the building, we hope to retain and increase our membership,” he added.