Construction for a new hall for the Kensington Legion is forging ahead, with an official groundbreaking ceremony in Calgary on Friday.

Legion members and a number of politicians were all in attendance at the event, which will herald a new beginning for the facility, which was in need of a major overhaul.

The new development, which includes a condominum complex adjoining the hall, will ensure the Legion's survival, its members say.

"The building was built in 1953; the pipes are getting rusted, a lot of maintenance has to be done on it. We need a new building. We need a new image. If you look at the old one, it's got bricks and, to me, brick used to mean a prison. We want to open it up now and say 'we're open, we open our arms to have you join us," said Bill Cox, president of Legion 264.

Members of the community living nearby opposed the construction of the new building for quite some time, but, in the end, city council voted unanimously to go ahead with the construction.

Legion 264, located at 1910 Kensington Road N.W., was originally built back in 1953. It has 1,500 members, making it one of the largest Legions in the country.

When it opened, it had just 63 members.

The first phase of the new hall is scheduled to open by the end of 2016.

For more information on the Kensington Legion, you can visit the official website.