The Van Lang Fieldhouse – A Welcome Addition to the Neighbourhood
(OTTAWA) May 8, 2016 – Today, Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper and Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCH) Chief Executive Officer, Stéphane Giguère, celebrated the completed construction of the Van Lang Fieldhouse with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony was followed by an open house and BBQ where guests viewed the Van Lang Fieldhouse.
For the past five years the Van Lang Service providers made up of community groups (including Westboro Beach Community Association, Carlington Community Health Centre, Ottawa Community Housing, Dovercourt Recreation Association), have dreamed about a space in this community to be able to meet and provide programming to ensure the wellbeing of its neighbors. The Van Lang Fieldhouse will serve as a much needed community space for OCH tenants and residents from the surrounding neighbourhood. The field house at 29 Van Lang Pvt is an initiative inspired by discussions begun in late 2011 between the Westboro Beach Association, OCH tenants from the Van Lang community and the Ward Councillor about making space available for programming and community meetings. Funded by the City through the Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper’s office with cash-in-lieu of parkland funds, the field house will provide programs and services such as Meet me at the Van and After the Bell, which previously were run at local churches and senior centers. Dovercourt Recreation Association and its board are a key recreation service provider for Kitchissippi Ward, and as such understood the lack of services and programs for this area of the community. This field house will provide a home for local groups, classes and sport programs within walking distance of its participants. Its unique collaboration between the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing, Dovercourt Recreation Association, Carlington Community Health Centre and community groups should be celebrated as a model for others to follow.
The Van Lang field house is approximately 2700 square feet, with a 243 square feet community kitchen, and ample space for programming activities.
“The Field House on Van Lang Private will serve as a hub for the whole community,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I would like to thank Councillor Leiper for his leadership on this project, as well as Ottawa Community Housing and several other partners for coming together and building this much-needed facility.”
“This is more than a building; it’s a hub. This opening marks the culmination of an amazing community partnership.” Councillor Leiper goes on to say, “My thanks go to the community members who pressed hard to accomplish this, and especially to Councillors McKenney, Fleury and Nussbaum who worked with me in an innovative way to ensure we could open these doors.”
The Van Lang Fieldhouse will serve the community for many years to come. It has been made possible through the efforts and vision of OCH tenants and their extensive collaboration with the Ward Councillor, community organizations, City staff and OCH, remarked Stéphane Giguère, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing. “Councillor Leiper’s sponsorship of the field house was vital to the successful outcome for creating this permanent community space.”