Project Sandhills

Since it’s inception over 70 years ago the CBBCA and our community have worked to build and expand our community’s services and facilities. An almost continuous series of tireless volunteers, leaders, and projects have built, expanded, and created what and who we are today. Our mission continues to be to follow in those footsteps; to collectively build and create an even greater legacy for the volunteers, leaders, and community of tomorrow. Join us.

Project Sandhills Phase 1 started in 2012 and completed in 2015; it was all about building on our history to create new opportunities. Thanks to hundreds of donors, generous corporate donors, dozens of volunteers, and Eli, the CBBCA contributed over $400,000 to the Major Capital Partnership with the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Library Board. The expanded centre, now nearly 5,000 ft2 larger and 17,000 ft2, feels different; brighter, welcoming, spacious, and comfortable.  Phase 1 was a complete success; it created an exceptional array of new opportunities for residents.

Sandhills Phase 2  is now well underway; it focuses on leveraging our new opportunities, expanding programs and services through partnership, and on renovations that will make the existing building more comfortable, more versatile, and able support a broad range of new programs and services. Phase 2 is about transforming our new opportunities into benefits for the whole community. Leveraging those opportunities drove utilization up over 30% in 2016 to 62,000 visits, excluding Library patrons, as new programs & services launched and participation in existing programs grew. All-In & the Fitness Centre alone have generated over 300 new members. With new programs, from Art to Zumba, and new services,  from the WOCRC’s new service centre to Foot Care, the centre’s new capacity is rapidly filling up. As importantly, the centre now makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for an even larger part of our community. The evolution from Phase 1 – opportunity created, to Phase 2 – solutions delivered, is well underway.

We have also completed the initial set-up of the new Club Room, painting, floor refinishing, and ceiling replacements throughout most of the existing facility and completed work to make the temporary stage extensions fully functional. The latter item will benefit most of the performances we host and literally sets the stage for 2017 when Rural Root Theatre and the CBBCA host the Eastern Ontario’s One Act Play Festival. The revitalization of the “old community centre” is an essential part of  Sandhills; Phase 1 created nearly 1,500 ft2 of space to be re-purposed into essential new program rooms.

kitchen3kitchen4The original Constance Bay Community Centre is the foundation of our success and in 2017 it will undergo significant renovations and modernization. Many women will be relieved to know the main floor washrooms will undergo an extreme make-over. In mid 2017 the City of Ottawa will undertake a complete renovation of the main floor washrooms; bigger stalls, new millwork and mirrors, new floors, and new ceilings. At the same time, in a Minor Capital Partnership with the City, we’ll be making other changes to make the common areas more appealing and functional. Once completed, the project will transform these heritage areas so they blend seamlessly to the Sandhills standard.

The cornerstone of Phase 2 is our new concept kitchen. Over the years, hundreds used our old kitchen for numerous and varied events; it has seen thousands of pancakes, tons of roast beef, banquets, buffets, and more. It had limitations, it wasn’t a good place to work, but somehow it got the job done. The Millenium Kitchen will eventually be big, bright, fun, and create exceptional opportunities. Borne out of technology and the imagination and experience of local chefs the new kitchen will do everything well; if you’d like to pop in and join a class to make a great soup for lunch, whip up something different to take home for dinner, or join a gourmet club for a great group cooked meal, the Phase 2 kitchen is a concept made for you. Once fully operational we expect to run 15 activities a week for groups of 10. People working the kitchen for one of the dozens of church and CBBCA events, weddings, and anniversaries will find the kitchen’s banquet configuration a welcome and dramatic improvement. It is a big job with a fairly significant price tag. New Sandhills donations and 5 year memberships will help fund the project. We’ll work on it, bit by bit, and hope to have the first steps operational by mid 2017.

Complementing the main floor renovations & Kitchen will be; an off-stage make up and waiting/green room for stage performers that will also serve as a spa area for youth and senior programming, an expansion of the main floor Club Room that will work for casual social  activities and structured programs, and an array of smaller changes that will help open and organize the entire facility. Once completed, Sandhills will add dozens of hours of popular new programming each week, generate thousands more visits, and make the transition from old building to new seamless.

Engraving is now in progress for the CBBCA Donor Wall. The wall will recognize the contributions to our past, our present, and our future. New donor tiles are now available; donors of $200 or more will receive a 6×6 engraved tile with 2 lines of text up to 36 characters, donors of $500 or more will receive a 12 x 12 tile with up to 5 lines of text and 105 characters. Donations are not tax deductible.

You can order your  tile here:

6×6     (2 lines of text up to 36 characters)

12×12  (up to 5 lines of text and 105 characters)


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