Lt. Michelle Cale and Michael Sutherland

Argyle Street building progressing steadily

The Salvation Army will occupy the main floor of the former federal building, now called Libberock.

Although slightly behind schedule, construction has been ongoing inside the former federal building, now called Libberock, on Argyle Street.

The first tenant, the Salvation Army, will be taking over the main floor for all of its services.

The historic building was purchased by Brent Manson and Mike McKay in May 2015 and by September of that year, they were in talks with the Salvation Army. The first nail hit the walls shortly after.

“It has been ongoing,” said project manager, Michael Sutherland.

Even before the papers were signed, Manson build a new arch in the foyer and on the entrances to showcase the building. That will be the location of the new sanctuary for the church. All of the floor plans are complete and once the walls go up, Sutherland expects the rest to be an efficient process.

The front of the church will include sliding doors opening to an expansion for a greeting area or in case more seating is needed for special events.

From there, a hallway will lead down the right-hand side to a series of offices, including one for Lt. Michelle Cale, and social services, family services and finance departments, as well as a large multipurpose area for staff. A late addition that came out of the Exercise Coastal Response in June is a space to be used as a contact point for emergency radio equipment in the event of a natural disaster.

“We already have people working in conjunction with emergency radio and there are so many collaborating parties in the Valley that it was not difficult to put together,” Cale said.

“It is a legacy left by the Coastal Response.”

At the far side of the floor is another legacy. The former “catwalk” running above ground was used by Canada Post management to keep an eye on employees. It is now sealed off but leaves an historic element to the building.

Also at the rear of the building will be a kitchen for staff, the church and to prepare meals for clients. This summer, the Salvation Army has also been providing bagged breakfasts and lunches for children who are missing out on the breakfast programs during the school year.

The food bank and thrift store, both of which receive donations from the public, will have added support. The food bank will be enhanced with a preparation and staging area, as well as storage space and the thrift store will have a dedicated area for sorting and an easily accessible drop-off location outside. The store’s separate entrance will be off of Fourth Avenue for shoppers.

Sutherland said progress is going well.

“Once we get a few final details sorted out, the walls will go up really quickly,” he said.

“We have local contractors ready to go and we want to get (the Salvation Army) in as fast as possible. We’re looking forward to seeing it all done and couldn’t have asked for better people to be involved in the project.”

Cale knows the move will be a huge endeavor to transfer the contents of both buildings, but said, “we have a lot of helping hands and take volunteers.”

The second floor of the building has identical floor space and is open to renovation ideas to include new tenants.

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

Just Posted

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District approves one cannabis store, denies another

Stores would have been located across the street from one another in Cherry Creek

UPDATED: Taylor Flats wildfire in the Alberni Valley under control

Fire is located close to Highway 4 near Sproat Lake

EDITORIAL: Plastics ban needs to start from the top

The more people talk about the plastics ban, the more it may catch on elsewhere…

West Coast Amateur in Port Alberni a success

Top overall winner, with a gross score of 140, was Derek Reid from Arbutus Ridge

ARTS AROUND: Last call for cruise ship vendors

Last cruise ship arrives in the Alberni Inlet on July 6

VIDEO: Sproat Lake Fire Department demonstrates sprinkler safety

Demonstration only took 3-5 minutes to create a deadly scenario where no one could survive

’When thunder roars, go indoors’: How to keep safe before lightning strikes

Each year, an estimated 10 deaths and as many as 164 injuries are lightning-related

B.C. rolls out online registration to speed up evacuee processing

Central Okanagan district tests province’s streamlined emergency management digital self-registration

VIDEO: After 73 years, siblings separated by adoption reunite in B.C

Donna Smith of Abbotsford and Clayton Myers of Williams Lake are glad they met each other

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

Nanaimo a prime market for new plane, Air Canada says

Vice-president previews Airbus A220, praises Nanaimo’s growth in passenger numbers

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

Most Read