There has been plenty of work over the past several months at the seniors residences at the Sunshine Lodge.
Demolition work began in early October on the approximate $5 million project to tear down the old 500 wing at Sunshine Lodge in preparation for constructing eight, brand new self-contained units to replace the aging units on the wing which were no longer effectively serving seniors.
“The 30 below weather kind of slows everything down,” Drumheller and District Seniors Foundation (DDSF) Chair and Town Councillor Tom Zariski told the Mail.
He notes, while there have been some delays procuring materials and supplies there have been no major delays and the build is currently on schedule. Construction is expected to wrap up by June or July, and Councillor Zariski says DDSF is looking to hold a grand opening or open house.
There has been plenty of interest in these new suites, and Councillor Zariski explains seniors currently living in Sunshine Lodge will “get first dibs” on these rooms. He adds these rooms will not only be newer than other rooms available at Sunshine Lodge, but will also be bigger and will also have a more expensive price tag.
Once all interested Sunshine Lodge residents have been given the opportunity to take one of these suites, applications will open to the general senior population and a wait list may be incorporated if necessary.
While construction is moving forward swiftly on the new 500 wing replacement, construction on the new SL4 facility is at a standstill.
“Costs escalated to the point the provincial government said, ‘This is just too much,’ so they took a step back and now what they’re doing (is they’re) hiring a consultant to basically go through all of the costs and just see where the costs came from, and if they’re legitimate, and if they could be pared down a little bit,” Councillor Zariski explains.
Although this portion of the project is currently delayed, Councillor Zariski is optimistic it will move ahead in the near future due to the need for higher Supportive Living in the community.