Plans announced for new 8,500 square foot Bridge Workshop
New home announced
AMHERST - A new adult service centre is a step closer to reality with the hiring of Alliance Construction to build an 8,500 square foot building in downtown Amherst.
Members of the Bridge Adult Service Centre board gathered here early Thursday to announce their plans to replace their Croft Street building that was severely damaged by fire last October.
"We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there's still a lot of work to be done before we get to that light," committee chair Ian Naylor said.
The centre's 24 adult clients have been working out of temporary quarters since their former home was heavily damaged by fire.
The land for the new centre has been purchased from the Amherst branch of the Royal Canadian Legion with preliminary work completed in October. Naylor expects final design work to begin in January with construction to commence in either February or March.
Architect Keith Graham and engineer Bert Van Leeuwen have been hired to completed the design for the building that's expected to cost at least $1 million.
"This is positive news for both our clients and the staff," Naylor said. "Clients have suffered in not receiving the care they were before while staff has found it difficult as well," Naylor said.
Valerie Trumble, an instructor with the service centre, said clients are coping with the inconvenience but not having a full-service centre like the old bridge workshop has been difficult.
"It's been tough on them since the fire," she said. "Most of them participated in the used clothing store in one way or another and since the fire it hasn't been there."
The new centre will include a used clothing store and laundry centre. More than that, Trumble said, the centre is hoping local businesses will provide work for the clients.
"The clients are available for work. They can do small parts assembly, stuffing envelopes, inserts, fliers and sorting," she said.
It's expected the project will take about 21 weeks to complete with occupancy expected sometime during the summer.
To date, the project has received $500,000 in funding from Community Services and the province while Co-Operators Insurance has allowed the insurance claim on the old building to be used on the new one.
As well, close to $70,000 in donations has been received from various service groups and clubs in the Amherst area.
Naylor said the community will have a big role to pay in the project and that the committee is seeking in-kind donations from area companies. As well, monetary donations would be welcomed by the committee and can be sent to the centre's current location at 9 Albion St.