The residents of Piper Creek Lodge can look forward to a brand-new home in a couple years. The lodge was built in 1956 and stands at 63-years-old housing numerous generations of seniors in Red Deer area.
Darren Young, chair of Bridges Community Living says that the project took almost ten years to come into fruition.
“The building itself has simply exceeded the time life that we can manage, it requires upgrades for fire suppression and things that are safety related. So, we approached the province some time ago to build a new one and it’s taken us this long to get all the funding and the design and everything in shape," explained Young.
The new lodge will be built only a half a kilometre away from the current lodge and will expand from 60 units to 100 units. While it is being built the residents will live in the current lodge in the meantime.
"We have previously have announced the funding for this building with the former government, but now the project has been awarded to a local contractor. So, we know that the project is being built and that’s what’s so exciting.”
Now that baby boomers are retiring, seniors lodges across Alberta are seeing the need to expand and accommodate for the large generation of people.
“We are just getting more and more seniors into the communities, people that are retiring, and unfortunately, low-income seniors, so, seniors that can’t afford the high-end retirement facilities. We have well over a hundred people on our waiting list for our low-income facility. For Red Deer, it’s a necessity.”
Although residents knew that a new property was on the way, they didn't know the timeline at which the project would be finished, but that didn't stop residents from asking Young about it for the past couple of years. He believes that everyone is excited for the new facility.
“It is a journey, the complexity of getting the permitting; getting the land, moving the titles, securing the funding is extremely difficult when you have so many competing boards and agencies. We are elated; if this is cloud nine, we are slightly higher," explained Young.
Barb Miller, MLA for Red Deer south was excited for the prospect of keeping Red Deer's seniors closer to home with an expanded facility.
“Seniors are the backbone of our society. They built this community and they deserve to be treated with dignity and have a place that’s comfortable, and fresh where they can live within the general area with their family and friends.”
The new building should be ready for the residents of Piper Creek Lodge by spring of 2021.