LEIXLIP Amenities Centre officially opened its a new gymnasium on 23 September. At a ceremony attended by many of those who trekked from door to door to collect money for the original building, Kildare North TD, Catherine Murphy, cut the ribbon.
Rob Baker, thirteen year veteran of the Centre’s committee, welcomed everyone and a special plaque was unveiled in memory of the late Ray McCauley. Ray’s son, Kieran, and family were present. Kieran said his mother was not able to be there but she would be delighted when she sees the plaque.
Mr. Baker, had special praise for manager, Paul Condron, and Caroline, Deirdre, Nicole and Tom, who have been a part of the team. He said the full cost of the new changes and extension came to n600,000 and were grateful to their bank and to FAS for their role in keeping a valuable community asset.He said the Amenity Centre was the preferred site for the planned north Kildare swimming pool and that was a major goal for the Amenities Group. Deputy Murphy recalled the early years of struggle when people like Jim Savage and John Joyce walked from door to door to collect the hundred pounds subscription. While the centre benefits from a Community Employment scheme, it had a profit of n130,000 in its last financial year after struggling to break even. They borrowed n465,000 to create the extension and another n90,000 on the machines. A new enlarged steam room and sauna has also been provided. Despite the improvements, it intends to keep prices the same. The centre employs 38 people, many part time, including 24 on Community Employment Schemes.