Hard work being recognized

Members of the Burstall Community Hall Commission Group (CHC) attended the annual Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association gala in North Battleford on Oct. 18 where they received the Community Achievement Award. Accepting the award are Ferney Schlaht, CHC president; Shane Andrus, founding member; and Tegan Bodnarchuk, Burstall mayor.

A group of volunteers dedicated to bringing a new community hall to Burstall were recognized for their efforts by the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association in an award ceremony held in North Battleford on Oct. 18.

Burdett Community Hall manager, Dave Pilisny, Community Hall Commission (CHC) president Ferney Schlaht, Burstall mayor Tegan Bodnarchuk, and founding member Shane Andrews attended the ceremony where the CHC received the Community Achievement Award.

Pidlisny wrote the following background information about the local community hall:

  “With the full support of the Burstall Town Council, the RM of Deer Forks and many of the residents from the town and district, the CHC (Community Hall Commission) was formed.  

  Eight years ago, a group of community members realized that the existing Community Hall had lived past its life span. This dedicated group of volunteers formed the CHC and they  had a vision of a new, accessible hall for Burstall.  The goal was to build a new Community Center within 10 years.  From building plans to organizing fundraisers, to hands-on construction, their “yes, we can” and “yes, we will” attitude brought this amazing $1.7 million dollar project to fruition. The fundraising group had a goal to raise 70% of the funds required before construction was to begin.

  Pharaoh Engineering was hired to complete design drawings and detailed engineering for the new building, which was to contain new Town and RM offices, and a community hall similar in size to the existing hall. Many upgrades were designed into the building such as storage, stage, kitchen, washrooms and wet bar. Using  current construction methods the new structure was made to be more energy efficient and less expensive to operate than the old building.

  Through a fixed price RFQ (request for quotation) bid process, Cuff Builders was hired to complete construction and Goodheart Electric was hired to complete the electrical, pluming and mechanical for the “Burstall and District Community Hall”.

  Construction began in the fall of 2017 with all civil and foundation work completed as the snow began to fall.  To save building costs construction was delayed until spring of 2018.  The new provincial budget had hit us with  6% PST on all labour and materials for this project.  An additional $100,000 had to be raised. Budget control was always a priority as no Provincial or Federal grants were coming our way.  Each of the many applications for funds were denied.

  With great support from several community service groups/organizations, community residents, former residents, people from surrounding towns local businesses and corporations doing business in our area, fundraising continues.

  It is to be noted that zero ($0) residential tax dollars were used to build the hall portion of the community center. The Municipal office space was fully funded by the Town and RM. Fundraising continues and over 95% of the project cost has been raised. With the dedicated work of the main CHC committee, it's subcommittees and support from Town Council and RM the project was brought to fruition with a grand opening in November of 2018.

  With each community event, wedding, drama or meeting it hosts, the new facility is bringing people together and creating opportunities for future generations.”

Portions of this report taken from Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association Awards Gala held in North Battleford on October 19/2019.

The fundraising efforts continue for the group. Their ninth annual fundraiser for the Burstall Community Hall is coming up on Sat., Nov. 16. The event will feature talented performers from Burstall and the surrounding area. There will also be a 50/50 draw. $20 admission includes sausage on a bun. Admission is free for children 12 and under. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30.

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