Grass will be seeded at the Michener Centre North site hopefully by the end of this fall.
On Monday, Alberta Infrastructure, who is in charge of the land during its redevelopment, said backfilling still needs to be completed before seeding can begin.
The site remains fenced-off as workers use large pieces of equipment and vehicles to continue remediation work.
The 158-acre parcel, dotted with mature trees, is located next to the Michael O’Brien wetland and the east entry to the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary.
Structural demolition of 28 buildings, located on the land between 55th Street and Crossley Street, was completed last fall.
The buildings had been vacant since 2015 when remaining Michener residents were moved to the south site, or into group homes for people with developmental disabilities.
Since then, land circling the fenced area has been used by walkers, people with dogs, runners and cyclists.
The demolition and reclamation of Michener Centre North site is expected to cost from $15 to $20 million.
More than $10 million was set aside by the City of Red Deer in 2021 to purchase the treed parkland at the top of the Gaetz Lakes escarpment, and the plan is to incorporate the site into the city’s park system.
Only the northeast corner of the property has been identified for the future development of an aquatics centre.
The site has a long past, starting with the construction of the Alberta Ladies College in 1912-13, which was later turned into a sanatorium for shell-shocked soldiers.
In 1923, the province opened an institution for children with mental disabilities, and later a facility for adults.
In the early 1970s, it was home to 2,200 people and hundreds of people worked on site. It was renamed Michener Centre in 1977.