Nova Scotia

Halifax mosque finally opens public gym

After three years of construction, a Halifax mosque has opened its community gym.
The Ummah Mosque pictured on Chebucto Road. The project has faced setbacks, including the discovery of groundwater beneath the toilets. (CBC)

After three years of construction, a Halifax mosque has opened its community gym.

"It's a great relief. No, it's an enjoyment to see it getting to this stage," said project manager Peter Scott.

He’s been shepherding the Ummah Masjid project since 2010. Worshippers fundraised most of the $6.2 million project, but the province chipped in $767,681 to pay for the gym through a 2007 Nova Scotia government program called B-FIT.

In a city where recreational space is in high demand, the religious centre said it’s expecting to see a lot of action in the coming school year.

The gym received an occupancy permit in June, which was first used for a children's concert. The Maritime Muslim Academy has used the space for soccer games as well.

The space on Chebucto Road can divided into a volleyball court, four badminton courts, or eight table tennis spots. The gym can also be used as a basketball court, but the nets won’t be arriving until the end of the month.

Mosque member Ali Duale said he’s excited to see the finishing touches.

"Hopefully the community will benefit," he said.

The gym will be open to public sports teams as long as they file a form with management.

The mosque said the fees, $50 to $60 per hour, are comparable to renting a gym in a Halifax-area school.

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