Champion’s loses appeal but stays open

Although the Champion’s Centre lost its appeal to revoke an eviction notice, the newly renovated centre has complied to meet fire safety standards and is waiting on inspection.

By Jasmine Franklin

Although the Champion’s Centre lost its appeal to revoke an eviction notice, the newly renovated centre has complied to meet fire safety standards and is waiting on inspection.

In a Sept. 17 hearing of the quasi-judicial Public Health Appeal Board (PHAB), Klass Klooster, building owner and executive director of the Champion’s Centre and Jeff Hanger, assistant director, were fighting to have an eviction order revoked.

The appeal was rejected, however, through negotiation the centre has completed renovations that should bring the building up to fire safety code.

“Once all of the renovations are finished, I will be inviting them (Alberta Health Services) here,” Hanger said.

The trouble began in the beginning of September when a complaint was filed with Alberta Health Services by Alberta Seniors Housing and Support, following a visit to the Champion’s Centre. The complaint regarded the rooms within the centre that, at the time, had no windows as a fire hazard.

The building had been inspected in 2002 before its opening and was deemed safe. Following yearly inspections, fire safety had never been a concern brought to the attention of the owner of the building.

Alberta Health proposed the centre install a sprinkler system into the building, but with costs of $94,600 it was a system the centre couldn’t afford. Instead, the alternative to install windows became the option.

The Champion’s Centre has since installed windows in six of the 14 rooms, placed two residents per one room, and added a fire alert system that will notify the fire department rather than the previous in-house alert system that delivered signals only to the tenants in the building. The remaining rooms will be vacant.

The lounge has been converted into a bedroom, creating another usable room for tenants and has also had a window installed.

Oct. 16 is the next important date for the centre, when Alberta Health Services is expected to inspect the building for approval.

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