The renovation and replacement of the Lacombe Lodge and Parkview Manor continues to be the signature priority for the Lacombe Foundation.
After introducing their public consultation back in March 2019, the Foundation and The Bethany Group have since partnered with HFKS Architects to provide a vision on what the new development could look like.
Eckille Mayor and Lacombe Foundation Chair Helen Posti was on hand on May 9 during a public meeting which introduced the concept.
“We have done the research and the site analysis, which was the design concept presented. Now we will do the feasibility study. We are having a strategic planning meeting in Eckville and that is so we can get everything together to take to government,” she said.
Currently, there are 97 available units at the Lacombe Seniors Lodge with five current vacancies and 36 people on the wait list. The current vacancies are a result of units not having windows. The new proposed development will be built on the same property in phases in order to ensure that no tenant will be moved off-site.
“No one will be without a home. Building in phases is also easier for government because it is less expensive to build a bit at a time than all at once,” Posti said.
The new Parkview Manor will be the first phase, which will — if funded — will be built on the current site of the community gardens. Once the new Manor is completed, the old facility will be torn down and the first phase of the new Lodge will be built there.
Posti said the three-story concept presented was exciting for everyone on the board — particularly due to every tenant having a window with a great view.
Other concerns from the public are also addressed in the proposed plan
“One of the biggest concern from people is the parking and the architect explained that parking will be in there. There will also be bicycle parking along with scooter parking, which was interesting,” Posti said. “The firm has out done themselves and I am sure a lot of is that Lacombe is his home town. He has put his heart and soul into it and you can feel it.”
Posti said the excitement over the project is refreshing after 10 years of stops and starts. She is hoping that excitement will encourage the new Alberta Government to fund the project.
“We are one of the last and oldest lodges left and I know that is one thing the MLA said to us — we need to make sure to stress the age of the building,” Posti said. “We have to have everything by June 30.
“We need to stress to government the importance of the project and the real selling feature of this is going to be the fact that it can be built in phases and it is being built on the same land.”
The feasibility study, which is currently underway, once completed will also provide the Government with an estimated cost of the project — something that is unclear at this time. Once submitted, the earliest Posti expects a response is in the fall once the UCP Government unveils their Budget — however an exact timeline is unclear.
“I am really hoping we get this because it has been a long haul. The sooner the better,” Posti said, adding it is important for citizens all over the county to speak to their MLAs about the importance of seniors housing projects like this one.
A full document of the presentation, along with design mock-ups, can be found at www.lacombefoundation.ca/images/pdfs/LF-may-presentation.pdf.