MacLean Centre is coming down

Journal Staff

The H. G. MacLean Centre in Centennial Park has a date with the wrecking ball.

The former restaurant and meeting hall will be razed down to its concrete support pad on Oct. 18.

The concrete floor itself will be removed when remediation work begins later this fall on the park’s contaminated soil.

Murray Demolition owner Fred Pageau said his company is not charging city hall for the building demolition in recognition of Sarnia’s efforts to redevelop the site as a legacy project.

The company will, however, keep any salvageable materials.

Where the building stood will be covered with soil and grass for now.

The MacLean building has been empty since March of 2011 when the city declined to renew the lease of the former Momma Rosa’s restaurant after 12 years of operation.

A 2007 engineering report had estimated it would cost $400,000 to winterize and repair the centre.

The building, with its circular design, was built in the late 1960s and was a gathering place for children’s groups, political debates, dance recitals and art shows.

A Centennial legacy project planned for the site, featuring a community centre with an iconic fabric sail roof, family gathering fireplace and synthetic ice pad, was shelved last year because of its $3.7-million price tag and the park’s soil contamination.

Although the MacLean building is vacant the washrooms have stayed open for public use.

A washroom in the Dow People place will be converted as a substitute, city staff said.