Norm McNeill, chair of the building committee for the Dartmouth Adult Services Centre (DASC) probably already has April 2012 circled on his calendar. That’s when construction crews are now scheduled to break ground for DASC’s new home.
McNeill was quick to confirm the start date – as well as the anticipated move to the new quarters in November of the same year – after it was announced the federal government would contribute $2,380,000 toward the project.
“This makes a dream a reality,” McNeill said, directly following the funding announcement by Peter MacKay, minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, on behalf of Diane Finley, minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
“I know how important today is to you and how long you’ve been waiting,” MacKay told DASC staff, clients and family members in making the announcement. He also praised the Centre as “one of the best community-minded organizations in our province.”
Obviously sharing in the delight expressed by everyone at DASC over the funding promise, MacKay said, “I see this as good news for DASC, good news for Dartmouth, good news for Nova Scotia and for Canada.”
The federal funding puts the DASC building fund within $1 million of its overall goal, a goal that Kelvin Sams believes is now easily within reach. Sams is a past chair of DASC and a current member of McNeill’s building committee.
“This is an easy place to be very passionate about,” Sams says. “This funding will allow us to build a new facility, custom-designed for DASC clientele and give us sufficient and adequate space to serve those currently on our waiting list. Our energy can now be more squarely placed on the building phase.”
Mark Gascoigne, DASC’s vice chair, is likewise enthusiastic about the future.
“A year ago this (the new building) was more of a fantasy than a reality. We still need to raise about another $1 million, but I think everyone now believes we are well on the way.”
BD Stevens will construct the new barrier-free building on Dorey Avenue at an estimated cost of $3,174,245. It will include several environmentally-friendly aspects, including extensive use of natural light and adherence to general LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles.