Core Neighbourhood Rec Centre

“You plant the seed, you may not see the bloom, but you helped plant that seed for their future.” – Laverne

Laverne has been an essential part of Quint since it was created. She is a founding board member of Quint, and one of the reasons the organization has the pulse and impact it does today.

As a lifelong resident of Pleasant Hill and many years of community organizing in the core neighbourhoods,  Laverne’s leadership was an instrumental part of the vision that led to the formation of Quint. As a member of the founding Board, Laverne helped ensure that the foundation of Quint was solid with a clear strategic plan and policies that have shaped the organization as it developed in the early years.

Core Neighbourhood Rec Centre

Intended to serve the King George, Riversdale, and Pleasant Hill neighbourhoods, the rec centre is still in the very early planning stages. The City of Saskatoon, YMCA, and Saskatoon Tribal Council are working together to see if the project will be feasible.

  • City Council identified a recreation facility located in one of the core neighbourhoods as a 4-year priority. 
  • The Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study for a proposed city centre recreation facility was completed in July [3]. This study along with an overview of next steps was presented as information to the City’s Planning Committee and to City Council in September.
  • The partners met in September to begin discussion on clear decision milestones and financial contributions, both capital and operating, for a new facility.

The organizers hope to have a working agreement in place by the end of the year. The project would then be designed, and a location would be mapped out. If everything goes well, the project will be built in late 2018, at the earliest.

Potential locations suggested in the Study are the White Buffalo Youth Lodge and the vacant land across from Station 20 West, both on 20th Street West in the west side core neighbourhoods. Regarding the possible location, the report prepared for the partners noted:

“Community members from the core neighbourhoods want to see the facility located within a core neighbourhood, outside of the downtown core, to allow for easier access for community members. STC and White Buffalo Youth Lodge staff indicated that a location near or at the existing WBYL location would be ideal as it already is convenient and known to their members who access programs and services there. Likewise, the YMCA staff and Board suggest a location near the existing YMCA for the same reasons.” [3]

“There will not be one location that is ideal for all parties and members or users of the facility. The critical success factors regarding location choice will need to consider:

  • Accessibility–vehicle and walking distance from high percentage of the population
  • Parking
  • Public transportation access
  • Corridor/route from downtown to the new facility (via walking, biking, public transport, personal vehicle)
  • Safety of the location
  • Best Practices and Lessons Learned
  • Willingness / ability of the closest population to purchase memberships or pay for services.”

There are many questions to be answered before the neighbourhood development project can proceed — one of the most important being what do you think should be in a rec centre that serves the core neighbourhoods. What would you like to see?

As the organization continued to grow, Laverne’s position evolved into the  Director of Operations but she continued to oversee and guide the affordable housing program. She is also one of our main social function organizers ensuring that we maintain a strong and cohesive staff team/family, something that she prides herself on. She has worked hard to make sure staff feel included, heard and part of the decision making process within the organization.

Laverne also played a large role in organizing Quint’s community events, what she calls “the fun work”. This included launching and planning the annual Our Core Communities Shine events, numerous community BBQ’s, and anniversary celebrations.

Laverne’s impact is throughout all aspects of Quint’s programming and practices. Her legacy will be that of dedication, compassion, and perseverance, always fighting for the good of her community and the people in it. On behalf of the Quint staff, board of directors and the community at large, Laverne we are so thankful for your leadership and vision to bring Quint to reality. Your contributions will continue to transcend the 26 years you have committed to our west side core communities and beyond.

Happy Retirement!