Rimbey Rimoka project picks up speed

“Literally we’re expecting a shovel in the ground in May or June.” Paul McLauchlin Rimoka Housing Foundation board chair

  • Feb. 10, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Amelia Naismith


After nearly a decade of discussions the Rimoka Housing Foundation Rimbey seniors’ housing development is expected to break ground in late spring this year.

“Literally we’re expecting a shovel in the ground in May or June,” said Rimoka Housing Foundation board chair Paul McLauchlin.

Ponoka County, whom McLauchlin is the Reeve of, recently gifted the foundation the 8.64 acres that sits south of the Rimbey Best Western Rimstone Ridge Hotel. The land is worth $310,000.

A building committee, a sublet of the foundation, has narrowed down a group of shortlisted architectural firms to its first, second and third choices. McLauchlin says the ball is now in the province’s court.

“The province goes through the same exercise and hopefully they match up,” McLauchlin explained. “Usually they do, they stand out.”

He expects an architect will be chosen within the next week.

Following that there are still many negotiations to be put in place. “It’s going to move really fast,” said McLauchlin.

“We’re looking at the possibility of a two-story building,” he added.

The building itself is estimated to total 480,000 square feet in the southwestern facing field.

With a laugh McLauchlin says some people are already canvassing the area, hoping their room is built in a prime location where the mountain can be seen from a window. “It’s actually a pretty nice view out there.”

The overall project budget is $15.5 million with 80 per cent to be funded by the province. The Rimoka Housing Foundation will pay approximately $3.5 million.