Thursday, August 24, 2023

Latest Friendship House renovations come with assist from PRPA Community Investment Fund

A new patio deck at Prince Rupert's Friendship House is just one of a
number of new features after recent renovations
(image from PRPA

Fraser Street's Friendship House has seen another makeover in recent months, part of an ongoing modernization of the vital community asset in the city's downtown core area.

The latest changes have seen both interior and exterior work take place to enhance the work and gathering space for the community organization.

An information release today, outlined the scope of the recent work at the facility.

On the east side of the building, the exterior facilities have been completely overhauled, to create an enhanced outdoor play area for the benefit of the Friendship House’s Preschool and other programs. 

The newly renovated Children’s Discovery Garden features a new large wood-framed shelter, sandbox, landscaping, planter boxes, wooden walkways, pea gravel, and grass that surrounds the existing playground equipment. Adding these natural surfaces creates greater developmental opportunities for children as they explore the outdoor environment. 

On the building’s north side, a new Food Service Room and connecting patio were added to complement the existing Community Kitchen, which was built through a prior Community Investment Fund project. The reconfigured room and outdoor terrace are outfitted with dining tables and chairs, to create a café-like setting. 

These renovated areas are designed to be multi-use spaces, accommodating several different activities and programs including the Youth Catering Program, which provides local youth with the opportunity to gain employable culinary skills by hosting events in the space. The new Food Service Room also aids the Friendship House’s food security programs, offering a more welcoming space for weekly food hamper distribution and serving community meals.

Some images of the newest features at Prince Rupert's
Friendship House on Fraser Street

(From PRPA)

The work took place with some assistance from the Prince Rupert Port Authoriy's Community investment fund, the fund contributed $155,000 to these two latest projects, that brings the PRPA’s total investment to over $438,500 towards a string of renovations in recent years. 

Those included: 

Second Floor and Stairwell Upgrades (2022) - $126,830  

Front Entrance & Lobby Upgrades (2021) - $62,500 

Community Kitchen Upgrade (2019) - $94,172 

Anna Zanella, Executive Director of the Frienship House Assocaition of Prince Rupert noted of the new opportunities the renovations have offered to the community. 

 “These newly enhanced spaces serve many purposes and help our organization continue to improve the services and programs we provide. Working together with the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund, we are generating new opportunities for North Coast residents of all ages, to connect with one another, expand their abilities, and gain knowledge.”

For the Port, President and CEO Shaun Stevenson observed of the importance of the Friendship House to the community and how its work fits into the focus for the PRPA Community Investment Fund.

“PRPA partners with the Friendship House of Prince Rupert because it is an integral part of the community, providing vital and inclusive services that support youth, adults, families, and seniors from communities all over the North Coast. Our investments will ensure that their staff and volunteers can continue to evolve and enhance the ways they develop and deliver programs and host community events and improve the experience for people participating in them”

The full information release towards the funding can be reviewed here.

The project is also the subject to a video preview of what you'll find when you check out the recent work at the Friendship House.

More notes on the Port's Community Investment Fund can be explored here.

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