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Sunday , 20 September 2020

Bonnylodge Update

The timeline for the completion of Phase II of the Bonnylodge is somewhat uncertain, reports Vice-Chair of the Lakeland Lodge & Housing Foundation, Chris Vining. The Foundation says that they’ve been given a estimate of late-April for residents to move in; however from working on previous projects Vining is somewhat hesitate to announce a completion date.

“The biggest frustration that we’re having with that project is we’ve got residents who have been relocated. We’ve relocated residents [during the construction process] to other buildings owned by the Foundation. They’ve been waiting to move in.” Vining explains there’s a large waiting list for seniors to move into housing in Bonnyville.  “The other part of it is, we have a waiting list for seniors to move in, in Bonnyville. We have people who are currently living in their own homes or maybe with family. We have other low-income seniors, who are wanting to move in, and we have to keep delaying it.”

It’s really unfortunate, it’s put a lot of our seniors in a tough spot because we can’t give them a concrete move-in date. – Chris Vining Vice-Chair Lakeland Lodge & Housing Foundation

“It’s very challenging because some seniors still live in their own homes and they’re wondering ‘when do we put things up for sale?’ or for rural properties, ‘when do we do the farm auction?’ It’s created a lot of stress and uncertainty for people we were hoping to have brought on and got into our housing, a lot sooner.” Vining says the Foundation has been told late-spring, early-summer as a target competition date. “April-ish is when they’re planning on being done, but we know from when we put up the other unit, it’s going to take us another 60 days at least.”

Phase II of the Bonnylodge required crews to demolish the old villa style town houses that were on the lot to build two senior’s apartment style housing unit. One of the units is completed and is attached to the main area of the Bonnylodge. The second building is yet to be completed and stands alone. Phase III of the Bonnylodge plans for the second building to have an attachment to the main building. Much like the first apartment, the attachment will be for lodge housing. Phase III has not yet been approved.

The group has learned a lot from the first building, explains Vining, “last time around we had people occupying a lot of rooms and we had some deficiencies, which created its own challenges, trying to get crews back in. This time around, we want to take our time, make sure it’s all completed, and all the deficiencies are taken care of. Then we’ll send out notices to start moving our seniors in.”

Once the second building is ready for occupancy, the waiting list for seniors in need of self-contained apartment buildings will be for the most part cleared. There will still be a waiting list for seniors looking to get into lodge housing. “We’ve had interest from people in the area for lodge housing in Cold Lake,” the Lakeland Lodge & Housing Foundation has announced the new Cold Lake Lodge project has been approved and held an Open House on February 19th to introduce the project to residents. “We can take people from all over the region, into that lodge, and we know there’s people who have said they would entertain the idea of coming to Cold Lake while they await a bed in Bonnyville. We have said we will accommodate that and allowing them to move back to Bonnyville, when a vacancy occurs.”

Construction on Phase II of the Bonnyville was originally scheduled for summer of 2015, putting the project roughly eight months behind. The project’s contractor, Tempo Construction, had a few unforeseen circumstances, including start-up delays, staffing issues, and the death of the project foreman (off-site unrelated to the project).

For more information on the Lakeland Lodge & Housing Foundation visit http://lakelandfoundation.ca/

About Jena Colbourne

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