After waiting for several years for a decision, the old Parkland Manor building in Rimbey will be demolished, and the land returned to a green space until a future use can be determined.
“We finally got a ‘yes’ for funding,” said Rimoka Housing Foundation (RHF) board chair Bryce Liddle.
RHF signed a contract with the Government of Alberta on Jan. 20, 2021 that secures the funding and approval to tear down the old Parkland Manor, according Liddle.
Tearing down the old manor, disposal and landscaping the area has an estimated price tag of $800,000.
As soon as bids go to tender through provincial government channels and a contract is awarded, demolition of the building can begin, says Liddle.
This is exciting news for the foundation, as it’s something they’ve been working towards since before construction began on the new seniors facility in Rimbey, Valleyview Manor, he says.
The process has been more than three years in the making, with RHF sending a letter to the minister of seniors and housing prior to spring, 2018, suggesting that the old manor be torn down.
As the building is owned by the province, not Rimoka, the decision had to come from the Alberta government.
According to Liddle, Parkland Manor needs to be demolished as the old building, built in the 70s, is not up to current codes and standards, with narrow hallways and doorways and other issues making it unsuitable for habitation.
Liddle says Rimbey Mayor Rick Pankiw has been “a big driver behind getting this done.”
The Town of Rimbey would have preferred that the government invest some money in the building to renovate and repurpose the building, says Pankiw.
The town had hoped the manor could be turned into either an outreach school or seniors facility at one point.
However, after several years of waiting, they’re glad to at least be moving forward.
“It’s a better alternative than having a derelict building there for sure,” said Pankiw.
“We’re looking forward to it being gone.”
Pankiw says the town thought they had an agreement with the previous provincial government that was part of the package when Valleyview Manor was approved, that the government would either demolish or renovate the Parkland Manor.
When the UCP was elected, Pankiw assumes they found the prospect of renovating the old manor “cost prohibitive,” says Pankiw.
Pankiw credits MLA Jason Nixon with pushing through the current agreement.
The land the building is on will remain under the ownership of the provincial government until the demolition is complete and the land has been seeded and returned to a green area, for now.
Then, in the fall, the plan is to turn the land over to Rimoka, under the condition that the land is used for seniors in the future.
A proposal for tenders is expecting to come out in the last week of January.