It was only a few years ago when the Eden Hall and Rink was expected to be condemned.
Following a flood in 2010, the basement area of the building was fully flooded, the shingles were disheveled and mold was present in some areas.
But the folks in Eden weren't prepared to let their community's recreational gathering place go by the wayside, and instead have come out of the situation with an upgraded rink, hall, kitchen and, well, everything, all thanks to a determined volunteer base, support from the RM, grants and insurance money from the flood.
In the end, it turned out the flood was more of a 'blessing in disguise' for the community centre than a disaster.
“When a community loses its rink, that's when you know it's on its way out," Toby Dagg, who helped upgrade the facility and volunteers time with it annually, said. "It's nice to see ours back."
Early repair efforts on the facility actually began shortly before the flood in 2010, when a group of community members decided to start fixing up what, at that time, was a disheveled community hall and rink quickly becoming unfit for use.
When the flood hit, much of that work went to waste, being ruined by the water taken on by the building.
While it was disheartening, the community quickly responded with help from a nearby Mennonite-based emergency aid organization, used five pumps, and got the water out of the building quickly.
“Looking back, I don't think we would have been able to repair it if we hadn't pumped the water out as fast as we did,” Dagg said.
Around two years later, the community hall and rink has a new lease on life.
Insurance money, coupled with $2,000 and $8,000 grants from the Beautiful Plains Community Foundation and $9,000 from volunteering for Bingo in Winnipeg, has helped the facility undergo around $250,000 in upgrades.
The newly furbished hall features a new hardwood floor, washroom, tables, chairs, light fixtures, a viewing area onto the rink with windows, stage and upgraded kitchen area.
Downstairs, where everything had to be gutted following the flood, there's upgraded washroom facilities, change rooms and concession area.
And through the door to the rink area, the viewing area has been expanded and hockey boards added onto the rink walls.
With the entire facility fully refurbished by early 2012, Dagg said the hall and rink is already seeing the benefits.
“The amount of people coming here has really picked up,” Dagg explained last Thursday, noting Kerf Construction had completed most of the work to get the facility up and running again. “We almost always have people on the ice....sometimes we keep it open right until midnight. It gives the kids a place to be and it's affordable for everyone."
“And our hall is getting a lot more use. We just had a wedding reception in here last weekend with over 100 people.”
The community also has an eye on keeping the rink and hall busy.
Renting the facility for a day is only $125 and for a meeting it's $75. The ice will also be available for day rentals or tournaments come the winter season.
The community, which already holds open ice time along with adult and youth recreational hockey leagues, is also considering getting a broomball team together in the fall to compete in an area league.
“We want to keep the place busy,” Dagg.
RM of Rosedale CAO Karen McDonald, whose office has also put in the hours working to keep the building afloat, said she hopes the new renovations will help ensure a good venue for community activities.
“I'd like to see it continue to be active now that we have this great facility,” McDonald said. “It's really good for the community, and for all of the RM, to have this available to them.”