Interior construction has begun to transform a former nightclub into an addictions treatment centre in downtown Red Deer.
Wes Giesbrecht, co-chair of Red Deer Dream Centre, said demolition work began about a month ago at the former Lotus nightclub building at 4614 50 Ave.
“Basically it’s just a empty shell,” Giesbrecht said about the interior of the building where foundation piles have been poured for the second level. Steel beams have been ordered and should arrive in a few weeks.
He said volunteers have been a big help reducing sky high lumber costs.
“We’ve got thousands of dollars in two-by-fours that are ready to be used again because we’ve had people come and pull nails.”
Construction is expected to take about six months and the Christian-based centre for men should be open to clients in early 2022.
The facility will be able to accommodate 40 clients for three to 12-month stays.
Plans for the Dream Centre were first made public in 2019.
Giesbrecht said it’s been a long road, but over $1.1 million in capital funding has been raised for the $1.4 million project.
Between $950,000 and $850,000 is needed for annual operations, and he said people have responded to the fundraising campaign Freedom Funders to find 1,800 people to donate $40 per month toward the project.
“We’re well over half funded for our operations. By the end of this year we anticipate we’ll be right where we need to be.”
He said more still needs to be done to educate people on the Dream Centre which will be much more than just a recovery centre. Clients will get the help they need to reintegrate back into society.
“We need people to realize what we’re doing and partner with us. That’s the biggest challenge right now. Many have an idea of what it is, but they don’t have the full picture of what recovery looks like in this kind of environment.”