Tanya Schur of the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre looks out from a second story window in one of the 16 residences being developed along Riverside Drive in Red Deer. Photo by Jeff Stokoe/ Advocate staff

Asooahum Crossing construction underway in Red Deer

Interest growing in housing project

Asooahum Crossing is taking shape on Riverside Drive, east of Lions Campground.

Tanya Ward-Schur, Asooahum Crossing director, said two eight-plexes, that are the first phase of the Red Deer Native Friendship Society housing and culture project, are about 30 per cent complete.

“It’s very exciting to see a little community be born. We are anticipating we’ll be moving in the first eight families in April,” said Ward-Schur on Tuesday.

The eight-plexes have two and three-bedroom units, with enough bedrooms for at least 32 people.

She said people interested in calling Asooahum Crossing their home can now fill out forms available at the society, located at 4808 51st Ave.

“We’re taking interest from community members who wish to live in a cultural community and follow a cultural way of life. We have had lots of interest already.”

The focus is to provide housing to students attending Red Deer College, as well as families, she said.

“There are going to be supports and services there on site. For workers that are going to work away, their families will have community support, and be easier for students.”

The society already raised $5.6-million needed for the first phase. People are invited to donate to future phases — an apartment tower and a culture centre. Charitable receipts are available.

“We are encouraging and inviting people to join us in developing community and building community at Asooahum Crossing.”

Ward-Schur, who was the executive director the Friendship Society’s executive director, moved into her new position as Asooahum Crossing director in September.

She said her duties include developing lease agreements, building the Asooahum community, and fundraising for the next two phases.

Lianne Hazell is the society’s new administrative director.

Ward-Schur said the society has switched to a shared leadership model. Instead of having an executive director, there will be three directors sharing leadership.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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