The official ground-breaking ceremony for the new Acton Community Hub was held at McKenzie-Smith Bennett Public School Monday afternoon. The hub-- which will bring together a variety of services under one roof for area children and their families-- will be built at the Acton school and is to be completed this August in time for the start of the school year in September. Activities that could be held there include homework clubs, literacy and parenting programs, after-school and summer programs for all ages, prenatal activities and an information site for families. "Today not only observes the start of construction for the Acton Community Hub, but celebrates the collaborative effort of our community partners," said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. "Halton and its community partners have a history of working well together. We are building on our past successes to create a seamless, integrated system of support and services for children, youth and families in Halton." The community hub is a project of the Halton Our Kids Network, which is made up of several community partners including Halton Region, Halton District School Board, Halton Catholic District School Board, Halton Child & Youth Services, Halton Children's Aid Society, Transitions for Youth and Halton Regional Police Services. The Acton Hub is one of four launched throughout Halton. Hubs are also located in Aldershot, Burlington, west Milton and River Oaks, Oakville. A temporary hub has been operating in Acton at Robert Little School. The four hub locations were chosen based on a needs assessment that looked at how well children were developing before the age of 6. Their purpose is to provide a local, neighbourhood-based resource and means for families and schools and the community to work together to ensure all children thrive and reach their full potential. "We've created a vision for children in Halton," said Mary Beth Jonz, Director of Children Services with Halton Region. She stressed the Acton Hub is "for the whole community." The 1,385 sq. ft. building will be built at the south end of the school by the pool entrance and include a large multi-purpose area, offices, and kitchen facility. Funding for construction of the building, approximately $400,000, is being provided by the Province. During construction there will be a detour for the pool entrance.
Among those on hand for the launching of the Acton Community Hub Monday at McKenzie-Smith Bennett School were (from left) Region chair Gary Carr, MSB vice-principal Caroline Reist, MSB student council president Dallas Shewfelt, MSB principal Sharon French, MSB student council member Megan Paul, Halton Region Children's Services director Mary Beth Jonz, Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette, Halton District School Board Trustee Gerry Ockenden and Halton Catholic District School Board Trustee Rosanna Palmieri.