With the announcement that local company, Seko Construction, has been awarded the Cold Lake Lodge project, Chris Vining, Vice-Chair of the Lakeland Lodge & Housing Foundation, is able to share some details on the project. The project will be a new build, new the current structure and will have little-to-no impact on the current residents, says Vining.
“For the Cold Lake Lodge, we’re getting a brand new lodge to replace our old one. The contract has been awarded to Seko Construction and we’re hoping to break ground in the next month or so,” Vining is able to confirm details, but understands the public may have more questions. The Lakeland Lodge & Housing Foundation will be hosting an Open House, on Friday, to help answer questions and for residents, or potential residents, to learn more about the facility. “There’s going to be an Open House on February 19th, at 1:30 at the Cold Lake Harbour View, Seniors’ Drop-in. That will be our first chance to show people the layout (designs or the building) and what it’s going to look like,” says Vining.
The capacity will be increased with the new lodge, “we’re in the 60 bed range, from where we are right now, we only have about 34 beds. It’s a major upgrade for us,” Vining explains the current lodge is 40 years old and in need of modernization. “Our old lodge, one of the major reasons for needing to replace it, is our seniors’ rooms are only about 110 square feet. In the new building, their rooms will be roughly around 310-320 square feet. It’s quite a dramatic improvement from what we have in the current lodge.”
Vining explains other notable upgrades the new building will have, “it’s going to be a two-story building, so it’ll be noticeably different. There will be more spaces available, within the lodge, for external programming to be brought in and for staff to do recreational, cultural and physical programming. There’s a component to be able to house with home care and AHS, so they can provide more services to the seniors that need it. There will be way more flexibility in the space and allow our seniors to stay in the housing longer.”
Unlike neighbouring communities, like Bonnyville and St. Paul, there isn’t a waiting list for seniors in need of housing, Vining explains Cold Lake is slightly different from the other communities. “One of the biggest reasons is, from surveying our seniors, a lot of them won’t move into our current facility because the rooms are so small. We had a lot of seniors who were staying in their homes longer if they had family around, or they were moving back to where they were from if they’re family was not in Cold Lake. The nice thing with the extra space, is we’ll be able to help. The lodge will be available for seniors from the surrounding communities; Bonnyville still has an extensive waiting list.”
The project is expected to take 18 months to complete, the hope is to get started in March or April of this year and be open for Fall of 2017. The new building will be next to the current lodge near Kinosoo beach on the north side of the City. No seniors will be displaced or affected by the construction, “there’s one wing that needs to be torn down and we moved residents out of there about a year ago,” explains Vining, “we new it had to be torn down for the construction to fit on the lot, but the rest will be fully constructed during the build. We won’t have to relocate anybody.”
To find out more on the Cold Lake Lodge join Chris Vining and the Lakeland Lodge & Housing Foundation at an Open House this Friday, February 19th at 1:30 pm at the Harbour View Senior’s Drop-in Centre.