The St. James Civic Centre is getting a $13M renovation

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The St. James Civic Centre is getting a makeover.

On Friday, all three levels of government held a joint news conference to announce funding to expand and renovate the recreation complex.

Terry Duguid, parliamentary secretary to the minister of economic development and official languages and to the minister of environment and climate change, said in a news release that investing in infrastructure is the key to building "healthy, connected and vibrant communities."

"The $5.2 million in federal funding announced today to expand the St. James Civic Centre in Winnipeg will ensure that residents of all ages can get together, meet and share activities that keep them active and enrich their community connections.

The federal government is investing more than $5.2 million, the Manitoba government is providing more than $4.4 million, and the City of Winnipeg is contributing more than $3.5 million to the project.

The money will go to new multi-purpose meeting rooms, an administrative space for the St. James Assiniboia 55+ Centre, and a community kitchen. It will also help with improvements to the auditorium, the main building entry, and the washrooms. These upgrades will provide more program opportunities and improve accessibility.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said the city submitted a project application almost two years ago, and that Friday's announcement is a "long overdue" investment from the three levels of government.

"The expansion of the St. James Civic Centre will provide a home for the St. James Assiniboia 55 Plus Centre and will help people remain connected, healthy and active," he said.

In a statement, Adrien Sala, the NDP MLA for St. James, said families have been waiting three years for the province to upgrade the St. James Civic Centre.

"While the PCs dragged their heels, seniors, kids and community members lost access to the programs and facilities that help them stay healthy and active," he said.

"Families in St. James and Assiniboia deserve a government that prioritizes the needs of their community and gets local projects done on time."