REGINA -- The Regina Heritage Community Association got the green light from the city’s Planning Commission to move ahead with a proposal to redevelop the Municipal Justice Building as a community centre.

A proposal to accommodate an “Assembly, Community” land use was presented and approved at Regina’s Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday afternoon. The proposal is to replace the building’s addition to the north with a proposed new addition, which would include a gymnasium and a multipurpose room. The gymnasium would be available for drop-in sports and for groups to rent.

Councillor John Findura said it is something the Heritage community is missing.

“It makes sense for the community. Anything you do, it’s to better and to provide things for the community,” Findura said.

It would be a part of the Regina Police Service’s campus, but the public would be able to access the community centre as well. Police may book the multipurpose room for training, but it would be well known in advance to avoid overlap between the centre and police.

“We rely on churches and Thompson School, and those have been really great to us, but we’re excited to have a space where community can come together,” Regina Heritage Community Association Executive Director Shayna Stock said.

Stock said the Association has had concerns about users feeling safe while sharing the centre with police, but said the design team has worked hard to separate the spaces.

“The police will have their own fitness facility on the third floor with a separate entrance, that’s not accessible by the public. The community will mostly run and occupy the main floor of the building,” Stock said.

In a statement, the Regina Police Service said, “Anytime you can bring police and community together in positive circumstances, you are building lasting friendships and trust“

The Association is also looking to install a community garden beside the Old #1 Firehall at 1654 11th Avenue. The garden was approved by the Executive Committee on Wednesday.

“It’s a space that’s currently just landscaped with some rocks and we’re hoping to install some raised beds for vegetable gardens,” Stock said.

Both applications will have to be approved by City Council in order to move ahead.