The public will get a first look at the proposed elders’ complex in Sooke on June 30.
The Sooke Region Communities Health Network (SRCHN) is hosting a consulting open house on the project at Edward Milne Community School from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
“We want people to come in and provide their suggestions and opinions,” said Christine Bossi, SRCHN executive director.
The open house will showcase the preliminary plans for the elders’ complex, which includes 79 rental suites and an activity centre focused on activities for seniors and youth.
The complex, dubbed The Gathering Place, is slated to be built on Wadams Way, next to the library.
Open house participants can meet architect Paul Rigby who will present the preliminary design work and answer questions. There will be other tables to circulate between examining building construction, zero-emission guidelines, community activities and events.
“Community input will be very welcomed to help us ensure we will meet community needs both now and in the future,” Bossi said.
The project has been in the works since 2018 and has the support of multiple agencies and levels of government. The District of Sooke has provided land for the project, a 100-year lease, and $267,000 for the drop-in centre.
The agreement between the District of Sooke and SRCHN, which ends on May 31, 2023, sets conditions for the two organizations to work co-operatively procuring B.C. Housing funding.
SRCHN president Mary Dunn said the organization is pursuing funding from the federal government, other agencies, businesses and the community. At the same time, it awaits the next application period for funding from B.C. Housing.
SRCHN also launched a $2-million fundraising campaign in April. Dunn said there is also the possibility that levels of government may decide to match what is raised within the community, clearing the way for work to start in 2023.
“We encourage community members to initiate their own community fundraisers and even matching donation competitions. It is only through community support that we can make the Gathering Place a reality,” Bossi said.
To learn more and donate, please go to sookegatheringplace.ca or telephone 778-365-1878. SRCHN will provide tax receipts for donations of more than $25.
– with files from Rick Stiebel