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Residents get first look at new Pine Valley design

Evergreens Foundation Illustration
The Evergreens Foundation unveiled concept drawings for the new Pine Valley Lodge to residents on Jan. 23. Construction on the new facility is expected to begin this week.

Masha Scheele

Lots of oohs and aahs filled the dining room of the Pine Valley Lodge as residents got their first look at the future of their new home.

Kristen Chambers, CAO of the Evergreens Foundation, mentioned that the residents had been feeling a little bit out of the loop this past fall while the architects and builders were working hard to come up with the best possible design for the new lodge.

“More than anything they were surprised to see how far along we are in the process that this is starting in the spring,” said Chambers.

Scott Builders, together with Kumlin Sullivan architecture, were chosen for the project and visited the lodge on Jan. 23 to show residents the new drawings. The new building will be constructed in three phases, starting on the north side of the current building.

Phase one will encompass about 75 per cent of the new facility, explained a representative from Scott builders. The first phase will be built up around the back of the existing facility, starting this spring.

“Within the next two months, brush clearing will start. The poplar trees behind the lodge, that will be the first thing people will see,” said Chambers.

Phase one of the facility will include the construction of 80 one-bedroom studio suites and 20 independent-living suites. 

View of a new Pine Valley Lodge studio suite
Evergreens Foundation Illustration

The 80 studio suites will be about 60 sq. feet larger than what is currently available at the lodge, explained Chambers.

Independent-living suites are designed for SL1 care level, with an ensuite washer and dryer and kitchen.

Four of these SL1 units will be two-bedroom suites, while 16 will be single bedroom. Occupants of these units have the benefit of housekeeping and maintenance, and can opt into more lodge care like meals as they age.

Phase one will also include the lodge kitchen, laundry, basement, spa rooms, library area, an arts and crafts room, and part of the dining room.

During phase one, safety staff will be on site to help out, but also to allow seniors to tour through the facility occasionally and watch the construction happening.

“We are going to try and create some safe spaces where you’ll be able to watch the construction. If you just want to take a little walk outside and peek through a little window to see what’s going on, we’ll create some little pop-out areas so you can have a little peek in between and be involved,” said Chambers to the residents.

Residents will be moved into the new building over a duration of one or two months in 2021 during phase two. Phase two encompasses the demolition of the old structure.

Once construction moves into phase three, the front entry area will be placed where the old structure sits now. The entry will include a pub/activity area, bistro, yoga studio, a salon, and the rest of the dining room. Phase three will also include the outside amenities such as paving, the garden, the putting green, the pickle ball court, and the skating rink.

One man asked jokingly during the presentation when they would be putting in the full 18 hole golf course, to which the builders replied  it might take a little while longer. After the presentation, residents commented that they were very excited to have the putting green.

“The amenities were very exciting, they are able to do those things without leaving the premises. We got a lot of good feedback from that,” said Chambers.

The whole lodge will be fully functional throughout the construction process and residents never have to move off site. All the new units and the majority of the indoor amenity spaces, except the front entrance area, will be completely finished in phase one.

Chambers explained that although there is a lot of interest from younger seniors in the SL1 units, it may be a bit early to apply at this time. The lodge waitlist currently hovers around 30 to 35 people, but is rapidly growing for those SL1 units. 

“We expect our waitlist to grow quite a bit based on that availability. If someone is interested in the lodge they can apply and they can go on our waitlist,” said Chambers.

The province contributed an additional $8M to the Edson Parkland Lodge project and that contribution enabled the Evergreens Foundation to reallocate money from the Parkland project to the Hinton Pine Valley Lodge project.

“The province ended up fully funding Edson. We had money set aside to contribute to Edson but because we don’t have to, it has enabled us to pick up some speed on the Hinton project as far as financing,” said Chambers.

The Hinton budget has remained the same throughout the work done on the lodge, but financial goals were met sooner.

Shovels will hit the ground at the Hinton Pine Valley Lodge as soon as the frost leaves the ground this spring.

For more information, contact the Evergreens Foundation at (780) 865-5444.