Construction of the 75-bed addiction treatment centre on the north side of Red Deer is on schedule to be completed this fall.
Alberta Infrastructure said grading and installation of underground utilities and pilings was been completed for the $20-million project called the Red Deer Recovery Community.
Modular units for the project are being constructed offsite, and some units have been delivered to the 10-acre project site, located along Highway 2A in Chiles Industrial Park. Placing the modular units on the piles will soon get underway.
Mayor Ken Johnston, who attended the ground-breaking ceremony last November, said a request for proposals to find an operator to run the addictions centre is also expected to be released soon.
He said the city is on the cusp of providing a variety of services to assist people in their recovery.
In addition to the recovery community, work is progressing on the Red Deer Dream Centre, which is a 40-bed, Christian-based treatment centre downtown. Red Deer’s new drug treatment court is taking cases to provide an alternative to prison for those battling drug addictions, and construction continues on the Red Deer Justice Centre.
“There’s a lot of pieces coming together for Red Deer right now. It’s a time of opportunity from a recovery perspective,” Johnston said.
Alberta’s government and the City of Red Deer worked together to pick the location for the recovery community, also known as a therapeutic community, which is a form of long-term residential treatment for addiction.
Residential treatment has not been available in Red Deer. Agencies working with people with addictions have had to find treatment options elsewhere for their clients.
In July 2020, the province first announced funding for the project, the first of five to be built in Alberta.
The site in Chiles Industrial Park was selected because there was enough available land for the self-contained facility, it was away from the urban core but still accessible to community services such as health care, and was vacant and able to be temporarily developed within the time frame needed.
The province has purchased the city-owned land. The project agreement is in place for five to ten years, and if the province chooses to move the facility to another site, the land will return to the city.