CENTRAL MANITOULIN – The Big Lake Schoolhouse hall is getting a bit of a patch job in order to hold it over until a decision on its future can be determined. The hall, which is used extensively by the Big Lake Women’s Institute (WI) (one of only two remaining Women’s Institutes on Manitoulin) sustained significant amount of water and mold damage following ice damage to its roof. There are five halls in Central Manitoulin, the Big Lake and Sandfield halls, as well as the Mindemoya Community Centre, Spring Bay Community Centre and the Providence Bay Community Centre.
“We voted to lock down for two weeks,” said Central Manitoulin Mayor Richard Stephens. “We had a discussion about it generally at the property meeting. It was decided we would patch and take a closer look at it in the spring.”
In an earlier meeting focused specifically about the future of the municipality’s outlying halls, it was suggested that the activities that currently take place in the Big Lake Schoolhouse could instead transfer to the nearby hall in Sandfield located just a few miles away.
While the idea was not dismissed out of hand by the Big Lake representatives and the Sandfield reps were welcoming, it was clear from the discussion that the Big Lake hall is used a lot in the warmer months and that the community would like to see the hall maintained. In the earlier meeting it was also revealed that neither hall costs the municipality a significant amount of money to operate, with their leasees covering the vast amount of the operating costs.