Rotarians and government officials held a ground-breaking ceremony on a new welcome centre being constructed outside Head Lake Park in Haliburton Aug. 5.

The facility was initially proposed by the Rotary Club of Haliburton in May 2019 as its 75th-anniversary project. The club is donating $75,000, but the project received a huge jumpstart with a $375,000 federal grant.

“It’s exciting. It’s happening sooner than we kind of dreamed that it could happen,” Rotary president Ted Brandon said. “It will just be a great addition to the park.”

The centre will offer washrooms accessible from the outside and tourism information. Some work has already started on a sewer hookup.

Deputy Mayor Patrick Kennedy, who headed the committee overseeing the project, said it is a milestone for the community that has been talked about for a long time.

“It’s critical for our tourism,” Kennedy said. “This new welcome centre is going to be opened yearround, rather than just seasonally. It’s going to attract more people to the area.”

Kennedy said COVID-19 delayed construction, but they hope to have it complete by the end of December. If not, it should be finished early next year.

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