Officials gathered in Warwick Township Friday for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the East Lambton Community Complex.
The $11.5-million project officially got underway in May of 2021 but the ceremony was delayed due to COVID concerns.
Mayor Jackie Rombouts is thrilled and says this will support the ongoing growth of the community.
"This community centre is not just for the community that's here but for the community that's coming," said Rombouts. "We've got residential in the works, so we're really excited about that. It's just going to be so amazing to be able to provide a beautiful space. This is not just a community centre, it's multi-purpose. We're going to be able to provide so many services that we weren't able to before."
Warwick Township Parks and Rec Manager Theresa Klachan said the space will feature a YMCA.
"Having that here in our facility, and a Y membership you can use at any Y, is great because now people can come and work out and there will be children's programs and adult programming. There will also be child-minding for those that need children to be looked after while working out. This will be a huge asset to the community."
The complex will also include a full-sized gym, meeting areas, hoteling spaces, a full commercial kitchen, free Wi-Fi and other amenities.
It replaces the aging Centennial Hall, which was built about 55 years ago.
A total of $9.5 million was funded through reserves, and it's hoped another $2 million will be raised through community fundraising.
As part of the project, enhancements are underway at Watford Arena, including a new main entrance, washroom upgrades and a meeting room space.
The arena opened October 12 with partial capacity. The public washrooms are hoped to be completed by the end of October. Three dressing rooms are finished, and it's hoped another three will be done in time for the community to host Silver Stick in December.
The entire project is expected to wrap up in late spring or early summer of 2022.
-With files from Colin Gowdy