Amherstburg Community Service moves into new building


By Joel Charron

Amherstburg Community Service (ACS) executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo couldn’t stop smiling as she walked through the hallways of their new home.

“This is just so amazing,” boasted DiBartolomeo. “My cheeks hurt because I’ve been smiling so much.

Amherstburg Community Services moved into their freshly renovated digs at the Amherstburg Recreation & Cultural Centre Friday. Office supplies were being moved Friday while kitchen supplies were being moved in last Saturday. The renovations cost $271,800.

It won’t take long for ACS to get up and running in their new building, DiBartolomeo said

Amherstburg Community Services executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo opens the doors and welcomes the public to check out their new home

ACS would be open Monday, April 2.

“It’s just nice to have a place that is our own. Now we can expand our services,” DiBartolomeo said.

ACS hopes to expand or introduce to the community grief and drug counseling services, bringing in more services for senior citizens, and having lunches and workshops. The fact the building is on one floor and is handicapped accessible is another bonus.

“This building gives us the freedom to expand,” explained DiBartolomeo.

Currently, there are 18 services that are run through ACS. There will also be space that could be rented out to groups, eight offices for staff and service providers and a boardroom.

Moving everyone under one roof has financial benefits, she said, as they don’t have to pay two rents anymore. The former office location was on Sandwich St. S. while the Meals on Wheels kitchen was located on Simcoe St. The 4,000 square feet that encompassed two sites will now be all under one roof.

DiBartolomeo said being under one roof will not only be beneficial for its program but the staff as well, ACS has 12 staff members plus roughly 100 volunteers.

“It brings us, as a staff, closer together,” said DiBartolomeo. “I just think it’s going to be more cohesive. Better communication. It’s going to help us.”

It has been roughly one year since DiBartolomeo spoke to CAO Pamela Malott regarding the town building. Renovations included taking the former open area at the north end of the building that was used for large gatherings and converting it into offices. The kitchen was also expanded and will now house the Meals on Wheels program while the north and south walls had to be rebuilt due to mould having been found in the original walls.

“We are going to make the community proud,” said DiBartolomeo.


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