After sitting vacant for four years, there is a suddenly a lot of interest in Walkerton’s old Armoury Building.
Helping to shape the future - or preserving the past? That is the question Brockton Council must wrestle with.
Bobby-Jo Moran has come forth with a proposal to lease the old Armoury Building and turn in into a Maternity Home for unwed pregnant girls in need of a little extra help.
Council was set to vote on the lease agreement, when a last minute request came in from Brockton’s Heritage Committee to defer the matter until they had time to present their own proposal.
The Heritage Committee would like to utilize the building to store artifacts and possible showcase displays.
Moran proposal involves leasing the old Armory Building, which once served as Walkerton’s Daycare and convert into a day maternity home that would offer services to pregnant women in crisis. (the would not live there)
She says it would be women supporting women.
Her program which has received non profit status, would offer life skill education on everything from cooking, shopping, resume building and job etiquette to nutrition, balancing a budget and training for home based businesses.
The Maternity Home would serve as a day outreach for unwed pregnant women in need of support, offering free confidential counseling services as well.
Moran who has been operating the program on a much smaller scale out of her own home for the last few years says many of these young women in crisis have come through the system and are in need of much support and healing.
She plans to use the Armoury Building to offer day programs and keep the two beds open in her own home for pregnant girls in crisis.
Chair of the Heritage Committee Ted Cobean however is hopeful Council will consider converting the Armoury Building into a Heritage storage and display building. (second floor for storage of archives and main floor for displays.)
While his request for consideration may seem like an 11th hour pitch, Cobean notes his Committee has been considering the Armoury Building 2 to 3 years now, but never moved on it until now….as they were waiting on a staff report on costing, which was just recently released.
Councilor Chris Oberle suggested the matter be placed on hold until January to provide the Heritage Committee with time to present their own proposal.
Mayor David Inglis says he expects this to move a lot quicker than January, saying it would be unfair for Moran to make her wait that long when she has worked so hard to get everything in place.
Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak voted against deferring the matter, saying there is an immediate need now, and the Heritage Committee had four years to bring forth a proposal on the Armoury Building.
For now the matter has been deferred for future Council discussion.