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Irvine celebrates opening of new resource centre

Posted on February 15, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman
Southern Alberta Newspapers Photo By Anna Smith. OFFICIAL openinig: Cypress Council members, Minister Ric McIver and Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Justin Wright gather around the new Woodward Memorial Park sign outside the Irvine Community Resource Centre for an official ribbon-cutting on Saturday.

By Anna Smith
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The hamlet of Irvine gathered Feb. 3 to officially open the new Community Resource Centre.

The first discussions of the project began roughly six years ago, Deputy Reeve Richard Oster says, with construction for the building only beginning last year.

While the placement of the building in Woodward Memorial has been controversial and met with resistance from some residents, the County is proud of the work done, which is “the beginning of a new chapter in the life of our community,” said Cypress County Reeve Dan Hamilton.

“We come together to officially open the doors of the Irvine Community Resource Centre, a space that will undoubtedly become a hub of support, learning and connection for all,” said Hamilton in a speech prior to the ribbon-cutting. “We have envisioned a space to be more than just a building. It’s a symbol of our commitment to the well being and prosperity of every member of our community. The centre is designed to be a versatile space that meets all the needs of our community.”

One of the primary functions of the space is the new public library, replacing the old building that resides across the street. It also features a board room, named after the Woodward Family, as well as an inclusive playground, which was noted to contain accessible equipment that is the first of its kind in Western Canada.

The event was attended by Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver, as well as Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Justin Wright.

“One of the best parts of my job as municipal affairs minister is getting to go around and visit the many municipalities with wonderful people celebrating successes, and today is a great example,” said McIver.

He remarked that a library can be one of the key places a prospective new resident will visit for information on a community, as well as a space for longtime residents to access resources and create bonds.

Wright stressed the importance of a well-managed local library, and commended the project manager for a structure that matches the spirit of the community it resides in and fits in with the other nearby structures.

“To look around at the remarkable number of pieces of literature here and the resources available is truly amazing and will continue to be the heartbeat of progression,” said Wright.

“I would like to thank all those involved, from the county council, and especially our staff who worked hours tirelessly working on the different things that we had to deal with through this project,” said Ward 2 Coun. Blaine Brost. “I believe this project portrays the commitment the county has for the community and its surrounding area. This building has made the town look more youthful and provide a place to gather, whether for information or just to talk about the weather, for those of us here and now for generations to come.”

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