A new seniors lodge in Rimbey is on the horizon, but the future of the existing manor remains uncertain.
Rimoka Housing Foundation board chairman Paul McLauchlin said several options have been brought forward, but nothing has been finalized to date.
“The next step for the existing lodge is re-purposing. Hopefully it will still be part of the seniors’ housing portfolio,” he said.
However, the lodge which now houses more than 60 seniors, may also be used to house a complimentary facility, he said.
McLauchlin noted such options such as the library, play school and Outreach School have been mentioned.
The board chairman said the lodge could provide self contained housing for seniors such as the type that is available inKansas Ridge and Kansas 11. He noted that these seniors units are now being operated under Bethany Group.
Meanwhile the dream of a new senior’s lodge for Rimbey should become a reality about 18 months from now.
McLauchlin said no schedule has been set for the official sod turning, but he expects it to happen in early April.
The new facility is to have 82 rooms, including six double-occupancy suites.
Shundra Construction has been awarded the contract for the lodge, estimated to cost $14.7 million.
Barry Architecture & Associates from Red Deer has been hired for the project.
“We went through a rigorous procurement process,” said McLauchlin, noting the architectural firm has extensive experience building senior’s facilities.
A management team consisting of representatives from Berry Architecture, Rimoka and the province will oversee the project.
The proposed facility is to be approximately 480,000 square feet and is to be located on 8.64 acres of land south of the Rimbey Best Western Rimstone Ridge Hotel.
Ponoka County gifted the land, worth approximately $310,000, to Rimoka. The province will pick up the tab for 80 per cent of the project, leaving Rimoka Housing Foundation with a bill of approximately $3.5 million.
The Rimoka Housing Foundation was created under the Homes for the Aged Act in 1959. Its purpose is to provide seniors and social housing services in the County of Ponoka and the towns of Rimbey and Ponoka. The board consists of representatives from the Rimbey, Ponoka, Ponoka County and the Royal Canadian Legion. It is a nonpartisan sovereign board that works cooperatively with all levels of government in order to provide for senior and social housing needs.