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New, souped-up CCs to meet changing needs of residents – TODAYonline

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New, souped-up CCs to meet changing needs of residents – TODAYonline

Ace the Place a reflection of how far community centres have come, even though their rationale stays the same: Khaw

SINGAPORE — Boasting facilities such as the first indoor water playground in a community centre (CC) and a 24-hour gym, “modern” CCs, such as Ace the Place in Admiralty, better reflect the current needs and expectations of residents, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

The four-storey CC — eight times bigger than the previous one in the estate, which was housed at a Housing and Development Board (HDB) void deck — also has a childcare centre, two dance studios and a karaoke area, among other things.

It is also the first public facility to be awarded the Building and Construction Authority Green Mark, which certifies environmentally-friendly buildings.

At an appreciation lunch for donors of the new CC at Woodlands Avenue 1 yesterday, Mr Khaw traced the beginnings and rationale behind the formation of CCs in the 1960s, which was to provide a platform for communication between the Government and the villagers as well as a venue for villages to watch TV and interact with one another. The facilities at these centres have evolved since then to suit the needs of residents, he noted.

“The basis of forming community centres remains the same, which is to build a place for people to bond, to bring residents together to socialise, learn a skill, learn a hobby, engage in leisure activities and, more importantly, forge a sense of community.”

While the HDB will do its part to build the “hardware”, such as homes and facilities, to provide “watering holes” for communities to meet one another, Mr Khaw also stressed the need for volunteers and residents to bring alive the “heartware”.

The new CC is expected to service about 52,000 Admiralty residents, up from about 40,000 previously.

Mdm Zhu Jun, 33, who has been living in Admiralty for four years, welcomed the new facilities, particularly the indoor water playground.

“With this water playground, I need not travel so far to the swimming complex for my four-year-old daughter to play with water,” she said. “There is also shade here so my daughter won’t get sunburnt.”

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