Old RCMP offices to be filled

Red Deer Catholic Social Services is one step closer to moving into the former RCMP city detachment building across from City Hall.

Red Deer Catholic Social Services is one step closer to moving into the former RCMP city detachment building across from City Hall.

City council authorized the City of Red Deerthis week to enter into a lease with the community service organization so it can temporarily move into the former police headquarters along 48th Avenue and 49th Street. The organization provides services such as counselling and training workshops.

Marc Barylo, chief development officer for Catholic Social Services in Edmonton, said that Red Deer Catholic Social Services plans to demolish its current building at 5104 48th Ave., and build a 26,000-square-foot building, or double the size. In the meantime, it needs somewhere to move.

“Our current property has outlived its usefulness and we don’t have enough space,” Barylo said.

Barylo said construction tenders for Catholic Social Services’ new building will proceed within a week.

It’s hoped that building could begin as soon as staff moves to its temporary location.

Catholic Social Services turned to the City of Red Deer for assistance in securing reasonable space. The RCMP building becomes vacant as police are almost done moving into their new headquarters at 4602 51 Ave.

The lease agreement would have to be finalized, but if everything is OK’d, then the intent is for Catholic Social Services to move in by early May, at the latest.

“We haven’t received any word on the terms of the agreement yet,” Barylo said.

He said they would have to do some renovations at the aging RCMP building, such as making sure that people in wheelchairs have proper access.

Initially, Catholic Social Services received development approval to add two floors to its existing single-storey building and perform other renovations. But there were concerns about a high water table and ground stability, which inflated costs. Water drainage issues were another factor.

Catholic Social Services had also eyed a two-storey building in Riverlands but it wasn’t seen as a good use for the area, according to the city’s Greater Downtown Action Committee.

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