By Pat O’Gorman
The Centennial Indoor Tennis Club will continue to operate at Warden Woods campus, at least as long as the building it occupies remains standing.
A recent decision by Centennial’s Board of Governors not to make badly needed renovations to the old warehouse at the back of the campus parking lot has tied the fate of the club to the survival of the building.
Although not everyone at the college realizes the club exists, it has been around since 1968, according to its president Joyce McGregor,
She says the club only pays the college $1 a year rent; but covers the cost of heating, maintains the building, loans the facilities to the college and has even given a $500 bursary to Student Life this year.
“So we’re not a drag on the college at all,” says McGregor who works in the admissions department at Ashtonbee.
Again this year, says McGregor, the club asked the college to put siding on the old building on the two walls facing Warden Avenue.
The board originally agreed to the renovations, but procrastinated until the cost sky rocketed, she said.
The siding would look the same as on the main Warden campus building and would serve as insulation to help lower heating costs.
McGregor says the club had put aside $3,000 to cover 10 per cent of the $30,000 cost for the siding. And the club offered to raise more money for the work.
According to Bill McConnachie in Plant operations, though, the building is not worth saving and his department recommended the board not approve the renovations.
He says that although the steel structure of the building is sound, “the roof is deteriorating rapidly and the walls are rotting.”
He estimated that it could cost as much as $30,000 more over the next few years to repair the roof and walls.
“We’ll be putting good money into it year after year,” he explains, “in a building that has really no long time use.”
He says that the building will be inspected every year until it is determined unsafe. After that, the club will have to move out.
Until that time, however, McGregor says the club will continue to operate and look for new members.
The fee for joining is $25 a year for students, $90 a year for faculty and $110 a year for people outside the college.
The club operates during the winter months only starting in September and finishing at the end of April.