The proposed new lodge to be built in Rimbey was put under the microscope last Wednesday as the public was invited to scrutinize the project and provide feedback.
The first meeting/open house regarding the new facility was held at Parkland Manor at 3 p.m.
Mayor Rick Pankiw, reeve of Ponoka County and chairman of Rimoka Housing Committee and Coun. Mathew Jaycox and building committee member Mathew Jaycox, were in attendance.
Also on hand to provide information was Dennis Beesley, CAO of Rimoka Foundation and president and CAO of Bethany Group and Tamlyn Beesley, project development manager of Bethany Group.
Mayor Pankiw said the residents of Parkland Manor had been promised such a meeting.
“We promised you this,” he said. “It’s pretty exciting. We only have a few more steps to go.”
Dennis Beesley said the process has been lengthy, but such projects take a great deal of planning. He said every effort has been made to ensure the level of care and comfort of those who will live in the lodge has been met.
“We are close,” he said. “We want you to know this is going to be your new home and you are the most important people.”
Tamlyn Beesley told the residents the studio (standard) net living area of the 72 studio (standard) suites will be approximately 425 square feet. One-bedroom suites will be approximately 625 square feet.
“Each suite will have its own kitchenette,” he said. “They will have a fridge, a microwave and sink,” he added that the later meeting held at the community centre. Rooms, all of which will be larger than those at the existing lodge, will be equipped with roll showers (wheelchairs can be wheeled in). A tub room will also be installed and a hair salon will be on site.
The facility is to be wood framed with a partial concrete basement. Primary heating will be forced air with radiant panels used.
At the meeting held at the community centre, Tamlyn Beesley talked about the kitchen.
“It is a Cadillac kitchen, he said. “Food will not be brought in. It will all be prepared there.”
The facility will have two elevators, and a dining room on the main floor.
A common area lounge and balcony will be located on the second floor.
The level of care provided will be the same as provided at the manor.
“It is a lodge model,” said Dennis Beesley. “Rimbey is (already) blessed with a hospital and a long term care facility. Many communities are envious of that level of care.”
Paul McLauchlin talked to the seniors about the wet pond, which will be constructed near the facility.
He said the water feature, which will have extremely gradual slopes, will not be full of stagnant water, but will be aerated by a fountain.
The aerated water will discourage mosquitoes and geese, he noted.
He added the pond would be stocked with fish in summer and made into a skating rink in the winter.
“The town has generously agreed to take care of it,” he said. “The purpose is to provide a focus and bring the community to the facility,” he added at the meeting held at the community centre.
The lodge will not have car parks or garages, but will have 60 parking stalls for visitors and residents. Ten or 12 additional stalls will be available for staff.
The next meeting/open house held at 5:30 p.m. at the Peter Lougheed Community Centre attracted about 100 people.
McLauchlin chaired the meeting/open house and encouraged the public to ask questions of the architects, planners and building committee.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Rimoka chairman responded to written and verbal questions.