recognize this building?

If you said “the Lynwood community building” you’re wrong – it’s the General Burns community building.

The City of Nepean built three of them in 1968, and they’re pretty much identical.

One reason the old LVCA liked letting everyone use the building for free without any red tape was that it got used a lot – birthday parties, baby showers, play groups, soccer referee clinics, baseball drafts, sleepovers, family reunions, free yoga classes, tennis camps, etc.

If the building is controlled by and lovingly cared for by the community instead of the City bureaucrats, it means more eyes in the park and less chance that the vandals will strike.

We’ve been pretty lucky so far, but there have been a few nasty incidents during the years that I managed the building. The worst one was when they smashed the kitchen window to gain access and then emptied the fire extinguisher all over the little kids’ play equipment and toys. WTF!

Second worst was when they got into the basement by subterfuge and had a wicked ‘party’ smashing things, strewing the contents of the first aid kit all over the place and other stupidities.

It’s not easy getting into the basement, as the doors are super-secure. Somebody tried two summers ago with some heavy equipment (to get at the Recyclore tools and bicycles?) but all they managed to do was damage the door.

If any vandals are reading this – there’s nothing worth stealing, upstairs or downstairs, so go somewhere else.

These pictures are from last September – somebody chucked a rock through the window. About a week later the other one was done.

All of this BS is of course VERY expensive for the taxpayer. For example, here’s a breakdown of the costs of replacing the two windows:

– emergency visit to clean up the glass, put up the plywood, take the measurements, etc.- $500, billed to the City by the contractor for each visit = $1000

– four panes of glass x $300 = $1200

– up to $1000 in labour, paid to the contractor (a busy man- he does all the City’s windows. He told me that Lynwood is BETTER than average- he visits some community buildings weekly! Who can forget the horrible incident at Westcliffe a few years back when they smashed walls and then plugged up the sinks and turned the water on. I heard it cost the taxpayer at least $50,000.).

Plus you could place a dollar value on the City bureaucracy’s costs to deal with it, my time, the inconvenience and diminished experience for park users, reduced community morale, etc.

No wonder our property taxes are so high!

The third building like ours is in Maki Park in Crystal Beach.

Remember the City of Nepean surplus, put aside at amalgamation as the Nepean Heritage Fund, to be spent only in Nepean?

The Crystal Beach neighbourhood got their share, a magnificent addition built on to the original building, whereas Lynwood got new cupboards in the kitchen and a bunker to store the snowblower for the rink.

Why the difference? They had an extremely engaged community association and a good councillor to make it happen. The squeaky organized wheel gets the grease!

If we hadn’t revived the community association from dormancy a few years ago, we would have got squat, as the money is all gone now.

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One Response to recognize this building?

  1. ottawaowl says:

    The second window was smashed early on a Friday morning, before school. There was even a witness (an Elmsley resident) who chased the kids! Twice! But they got away. The first time he lost them on Quinpool, the second time on Longwood.

    Lucky for him – what would he have done if he had caught them? One out-of-breath middle-aged man (slightly past his prime) against three 15-year-olds, possibly carrying weapons?

    Plus two of them were on bikes and the third guy had a skateboard. My neighbour looks reasonably fit, but I doubt that he can catch a teenager on a skateboard.

    If it gets too bad the City will put up a ‘cage’ over the windows – almost as bad as plywood for downgrading the atmosphere in the building!

    The glass guy claims to have a better solution: rather than a cage or repeatedly replacing the windows- spring for half-inch plexiglass ($500 rather than $300 for a pane our size?), like what they top the boards with on hockey rinks. Three-quarter inch would be even better.

    A play group had to cancel their activities the first time the rock was thrown because of the jagged shards of glass. Two groups with contracts to use the building for baby showers backed out because of the plywood.

    So if they get broken again this year I think we should lobby for plexiglass. Better than caging us!

    By the way, I spent over an hour on the phone trying to pass on a description of the vandals who were witnessed breaking glass, mostly getting bounced back and forth between the City and the police.

    Neither seemed to have a record of the vandalism. Ultimately no one ever did take my info- one person told me that if you don’t have something more concrete, like a license plate number, they’re not really interested.

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