Sundre seniors housing project pre-design concept unveiled
Officials have unveiled what is called a preliminary pre-design concept plan for a proposed 143-bed Sundre seniors’ housing facility, which if built could include a range of supportive living options from independent to high-level care.
The plan calls for a complex of 18 independent living units, with a variety of one- and two- bedroom units, 45 supported living units (level 1 and 2 care, which is care typically seen in lodges), and 80 supported living units (level 4 and 4D care, which is care seen in nursing homes) on three storeys.
The Sundre facility would also include a day-use area, multi-purpose rooms, administration offices and outdoor amenity space.
The Sundre Seniors’ Community Housing and Care Committee (SSHCC), a Town of Sundre committee, has been working with the Mountain View Seniors’ Housing board (MVSH) and Bethany Care Society to examine future seniors’ housing needs in Sundre and to have the plan prepared by the IBI Group.
SSHCC chairperson Charlotte McInnes says she’s pleased with the release of the preliminary pre-design concept plan.
“It helps figure out how much grant money we will need to apply for, so they can know what size of building we are going to need,” said McInnes. “I am very happy with this latest development.”
A location for a new eight-acre facility in Sundre has not been chosen, and won’t be chosen until grant money is available, she said.
“There are a couple of possible locations in town, but we can’t put out the money for land until we know we can get the grants,” she said. “We need the grants first.”
A drawing of the proposed facility has not yet been made.
SSHCC officials have met with area MLAs to keep them up to speed on the progress of the Sundre project, she said.
“We will need our MLAs to go to bat for us when we go before the government to ask for grant money,” she said.
A community-needs survey conducted by the SCHCC found that there is a demand for more seniors’ housing in Sundre at all levels, said McInnes.
A public meeting is planned for Aug. 2 to give people an opportunity to provide further input, she said.
In May, the Mountain View Seniors’ Housing board passed a motion approving the spending of up to $50,000 for the preparation of the pre-design concept for a new Sundre facility.
MVSH is a non-profit organization and registered charity that operates seniors’ lodges, seniors’ self-contained apartments and subsidized family housing in Carstairs, Sundre, Olds and Didsbury.
A completed project could take up to four years for planning and construction, said MVSH CAO Sam Smalldon.
“We have verified demand across all aspects of the continuum and the continuum goes through independent living through eight or nine stages to care centre,” said Smalldon. “Across all of those there is sufficient verifiable demand for a project or multiple projects in Sundre.”
The MVSH could make grant applications this fall, he said.
“Hopefully we would get a decision by the new year, and based on that we will take this pre-design concept, once we know we have funding, and take it and make a real plan based on this concept,” he said.
MVSH and SCHCC officials have been in touch with other stakeholder groups about the project, he said.
“We’ve communicated with the doctors in Sundre who want to build a professional building,” he said. “We’ve brought them into the discussion. We are inviting a medical clinic, a professional building (for doctors), and even private developers who want to build more housing for seniors.”
McInnes says she would like to hear from anyone with questions about plans to bring a new seniors’ facility to Sundre. Her phone number is 1-403-638-3542.