Community Hub Gets a Boost

Jaffray’s Community Hall has been welcoming people inside since 1939. Now, it has a new spacious timber-frame gazebo for outdoor events.

3 minute read

Jaffray creates an irresistible outdoor place to gather

Currently sporting a bright red front door, the Jaffray Community Hall has been welcoming people inside since 1939. Now, it has become an even more appealing and usable facility with the addition of an attractive, convenient and spacious timber-frame gazebo outside.

“The hall is the hub of the community,” says Natalie Burgess, Treasurer of the Sand Creek Community Club, which oversees the hall. “We have funerals and weddings and dances and monthly bingos. It really is where everyone comes together in the community.”

Rain or Shine

Outdoor events, however, were iffy when it came to comfort or weather. Although the lawn hosted celebrations like the Jaffray Fall Fair, if it rained, Burgess says, “Basically everyone packed up and went home.”

The gazebo will help remedy this, letting events of all sizes run rain or shine. Users can also benefit from a new concession with full kitchen and new washrooms, plus a firepit and shade trees.

The improvements came into being with support from Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Outdoor Revitalization Grants. This program helps communities renew their outdoor spaces—by creating new venues or reinvigorating existing ones—so that people can come together and connect.

Community Pride

By offering vibrant gathering places, communities can help improve individual well-being, strengthen community pride, aid local businesses and celebrate culture. Since 2019, this program has committed about $6.5 million to help communities enhance 35 spaces.

In addition to Jaffray’s current gazebo project, “We’ve done the inside of the hall and the outside of the hall” with the support of Trust grants, Burgess says. “We wouldn’t have been able to do those without them.”

As for the outdoor amenities, “The whole community and surrounding areas will use this space.” Before the gazebo was even finished, people were already asking about booking weddings. Soon, hopefully large community events can proceed like they did pre-pandemic. The school can use it as an outdoor classroom.

“I feel it is going to be well used by everyone,” Burgess says. “It’s going to be a success.”

Community Outdoor Revitalization Grants

This program supports Basin communities to create, restore or enhance welcoming, safe and vibrant outdoor multi-use community spaces that support community gathering and programming.

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