Stephenville rec centre gets short reprieve

The West Coast Training Centre in Stephenville, slated to close tonight due to cuts in this week's budget, will stay open for another three months.
Protestors gather outside the West Coast Training Centre in Stephenville on Thursday. (CBC )

The West Coast Training Centre in Stephenville has been thrown a three-month lifeline.

The rec centre, which is run by the provincial government, was slated to close Thursday due to cuts in this week's budget.

But Port au Port MHA Tony Cornect told a rally outside the facility Thursday afternoon that the province will keep it open for the short term.

"And that will give an opportunity to students and school groups out there that have activities planned inside the building that they can complete it," said Cornect. "And, it'll give an opportunity to people out there now that want to take over this building, get an opportunity to put their proposals into the government.

Many community recreation programs happen in the gym at the West Coast Training Centre in Stephenville. (CBC )

"So we're hoping that ... by September, there will be a new owner in place to run the West Coast Training Centre." 

Popular spot

The centre, which includes a large gym and weight rooms, is home to many fitness and recreation programs, and has been used by Stephenville area residents of all ages, from babies to seniors.

"People from throughout the Bay St. George region use this facility and folks throughout Bay St. George use this facility," said Tom O'Brien, the mayor of Stephenville. "So it has a major impact. A lot of these groups will have nowhere to go."

Tourism and Recreation Minister Terry French has said closing the centre will save the government $200,000. He said he's willing to speak with anyone interested in taking it over.