North site at Red Deer’s Michener Centre getting security fence

Vandalism a growing problem

A 2.4-metre fence, likely topped with barbed wire, will soon wrap around the group of vacant buildings on Michener Centre’s north site.

Signs recently went up to let the public know an “eight-foot chain link continuous security fence” would be installed around the group of buildings for safety and security.

Jessica Lucenko, Alberta Infrastructure spokesperson, said provincial staff are still trying to determine if the fence will cut off public access to the road that runs around most of the buildings. In a few spots, buildings are on both sides of the road.

The road is still used by walkers, people with dogs, runners and cyclists who frequent the green space on the north site.

“They know that it gets used, so they’re trying to accommodate all the users. At the same time, it’s a private road,” Lucenko said on Monday.

The site has 16 vacant buildings, most of them grouped together and encircled by the road.

She said since April there’s been an increase in vandalism to the buildings. People are entering the buildings and some climb onto the roofs.

“The site has been unoccupied since 2015. It was becoming a concern and we wanted to make sure people weren’t trespassing and hurting themselves or causing a disturbance in the neighbourhood.”

Lecenko said the fence will go up over the next few weeks, which will have a deterrent at the top, probably barbed wire.

Other security measures will also be added. Security staff on site will be increased, more night time lighting will be added and some bushes and shrubs will be removed from around buildings.

The cost of the fence and other measures was estimated at $100,000.

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