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Cold Lake Lodge survives delays and will see seniors move in next week

The Cold Lake Lodge is officially ready.

The $13 million-plus project, funded by the province and federal government, is finished and residents will move in next week, which ends almost three years of construction since they broke ground.

Lakeland Lodge and Housing chair, Chris Vining, said it’s been a long road to get to this point.

“It’s a really satisfying feeling,” said Vining.

“Certainly it has taken way longer than we’d hoped and anticipated, but sometimes these things happen. There was a lot of stuff that’s just certainly beyond our control as a foundation.”

Several delays pushed back the move-in date for residents since 2016.

Lakeland Lodge and Housing originally hoped for a construction end date by last September.

Vining said one of the recent struggles was having to tear down a wing of the old lodge which paired down the units to 32.

“They [the residents] have basically been living in a construction zone for this entire time,” said Vining. “They’ve been very patient as we’ve been going through this.”

The lodge has added about 15 units to have 62 units total with four oversized rooms for couples.

The units will be much larger at 350 sq. feet from the old lodge’s 100 sq. feet rooms.

The programming areas like their recreation space also got a lot bigger.

“Now we have our full dining area. We’ve got a couple other programming spaces downstairs. We have a full recreation room and a facility upstairs. We have space within the building for home care, they’ll have their own office space and a place for their staff in the building.

“It’s just a massive shift work from what we were able to do in the services were able to deliver to our residents to where we’re going to be in our new building,” said Vining.

Existing lodge residents will move in first and then applications will be looked at to move in next.

“After we get our existing residents into their rooms and where they need to be, then we can start populating with the people that are offered and start making suites available for people that are on a waitlist,” said Vining.

Vining appreciates how the seniors and staff were so patient.

“Our resident’s families have been working very patiently with us because we really started thinking that we were going to be able to start transitioning people in by September, October.

“Then our staff, we really appreciate their patience and all their hard work through this because it hasn’t been easy,” said Vining.