On Sept. 8 the Smithers Community Services Association (SCSA) held a meeting at Cottonwood Manor, a senior comples in Houston, to discuss the confirmation they received from B.C. Housing to replace and demolish the two old wings of the buidling.
There are five components to this project that will be complete by fall of next year. The planning, site development, construction of 14 to 16 modular units, demolition of the two old wings, and the design and construction of the kitchen and common areas will be overseen by the SCSA along with the help of B.C. Housing and a general contractor.
“We will be doing the planning throughout the fall and winter in order to be ready to start the site preparation in the spring of 2017 and [have the] project completed by the fall,” wrote Cathryn Olmstead, Executive Director of SCSA.
Cottonwood Manor currently houses 12 people. The building consists of three wings along with a kitchen and common area.
The assisted living wing houses six people and will remain intact during the phases of this project.
The low income independent living wing, along with the condemned wing, are the two sectors that are scheduled to be demolished. The intention is to move the existing six tenants into the new units before the old ones are demolished.
The construction of the new units are only in the planning stages, but residents of Cottonwood Manor were informed that the new units would look like the ones in Telkwa.
“I went and looked at the units in Telkwa, and I don’t feel that that is what we need here. There are four units together, they are strictly private to each other, there is no way you can go out in the hallway to say good morning to each other. If you want to visit your neighbour you have to go outside,” commented Noreen Scott, resident of Cottonwood Manor.
In the original design, before the assisted living wing was built, Cottonwood Manor had 16 living units. Due to the high flood seasons and the location of the building, eight of these units located in the condemned wing section, the foundation has deteriorated and are now closed off.
“Because of the problem with the foundation under [the condemned wing] they buried cottonwood [trees] because there was a big hole out here and [so they] filled it with cottonwoods. But as time went on it started rotting, and then it started sinking the foundation,” commented Scott.
The completion of this project will essentially make available the original 16 units at Cottonwood Manor livable again. Along with the six units in the assisted living wing, making it a total of 22 units at Cottonwood Manor.
More information about this project will follow when Olmstead returns Oct. 4, 2016.