Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is located in the top right in a rendering of Red Deer College Campus. (Photo contributed)

UPDATED: Government approves RDC land for child advocacy centre

Partnership announced between RDC and Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre

A group dedicated to assisting children and families impacted by abuse has secured a site for its new facility at Red Deer College.

The provincial government has enabled the college to allocate about 1.07 acres of land for the stand-alone centre of excellence in support of child advocacy services and education.

The centre will be located in the southwest corner of the campus, near the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

“We think it’s the absolute best location that provides an atmosphere and environment where people can feel safe and at rest as they go through some very difficult times,” said Red Deer College president Joel Ward at the announcement Friday.

The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre was given a 50-year lease of land.

“It’s still our land. We don’t sell land, but we will look at around the 30-year mark to extend that lease. I can’t imagine that we’d ever ask them to leave. I don’t see that need as going away,” Ward said.

The college has a similar arrangement with CollegeSide seniors facilities located on the campus.

Terry Loewen, board chair with the Central Alberta Advocacy Centre, said there isn’t room to jam any more desks into the group’s downtown location. The new facility will be 10,000 square feet.

“We’re down there operating right now in 1,400 square feet. We’re working in a very small place. In one year, we’ve done north of 320 cases. We’ve interviewed over 255 children,” Loewen said.

“We’re in a crisis with our children in our community, and we’ve got to get this thing up and going.”

He said as much as 85 per cent of child abuse is not reported, so the advocacy centre is just scratching the surface and he hopes construction of the $8-million facility will start in April or May.

So far, a little more than $1 million has been raised. If the centre’s Dream Home Lottery is a sellout, it will bring in $1.5 million. Private fundraising efforts are also underway.

“We’re going to get this thing done. We’ve come a long way in a short time, and I couldn’t be prouder of my community stepping up for such a dark, dark subject,” Loewen said.

Ward said students studying education, early childhood learning, sociology and justice will benefit from the centre’s presence on campus.

“We have an opportunity not only to support what the child advocacy centre is doing, but provide great learning opportunities for students who go into that field and make a difference as well. It all fits together beautifully, and it’s going to make a significant difference,” Ward said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deer teacher contracts condemning same-sex relationships ‘not acceptable’

Eggen says Red Deer Catholic Schools assured him they no longer have employees sign the form

Second-degree murder trial on hold until January

Jury not back until Jan. 7 for 2015 stabbing death trial while lawyers argue evidence issues

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Stray dog spotted in one Red Deer neighbourhood, could be missing for 1 year

Red Deerians asked not to feed this german shepard

Witnesses describe scene of fatal 2016 collision

Delburne man on trial for manslaughter after being accused of causing collision

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

CBC Gem streaming service to launch exclusive content, partners with Wattpad

TORONTO — The CBC has launched a new streaming service featuring live… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Most Read