Council debates future of former daycare society building

The building will be demolished after costs are brought back for review

City council voted in favour of proceeding with the demolition of the Lacombe Daycare Society’s building but before anydemolition actually takes place, costs will be confirmed.

That discussion took place at this week’s City council meeting.

After the Lacombe Daycare Society was dissolved in 2006, City council made the decision shortly after to begin preparinginformation on demolishing the building in order to create additional parking space in from of the Lacombe MemorialCentre.

With the demolition of the building, council explained the parking lot would be expanded to accommodate 29 additionalspaces, bringing the grand total of spaces to 189 in total.

The estimated project cost for demolishing the building and paving will cost the City roughly $64,000 plus additional costsfor hazardous material removal, etc.

The recommendation of the motion for council was to take the necessary measures to proceed with the demolition of theproperty and administration pay for the demolition and paving, along with curb installation, line painting and any othercosts related.

There were also alternative plans that Norma MacQuarrie, chief administrative officer with the City, brought forward such asselling the building or retaining the building for municipal use.

In support of alternative measures, Councillor Wayne Armishaw suggested to council that they consider moving it to thenew ice centre as a dressing room, or if the building needs to be demolished, their own City workers use their ownequipment to demolish the building.

“I don’t think that we’ve been elected just to agree with what has been presented to us, and I’m thinking outside the box onthis first call.

“We have all capabilities to (demolish) it ourselves and we can do it in a very sound way and actually show ourselves as goodenvironmental stewards, do it carefully, and dispose it a little more carefully than is normally done.”

In rebuttal, Matthew Goudy, director of operations and planning services recommended using caution with not hiring atrained company to do the demolition, as it will be a learning process for the City.

Councillor Bill McQuesten also agreed with Goudy in saying that using their own team for demolishing the building was ahuge safety issue and would not be in support of using a City team for the job. Councillor Wayne Rempel also questionedwhether or not it would be work saving the extra costs in order to put untrained workers from the City up to the task.

Despite the disapproval for his thoughts, Armishaw also suggested putting it up for sale, explaining that maybe a buyerwould take the building and move it to a designated location as to save the building, in order to be more environmentallysound, which Councillor Grant Harder agreed upon, saying the building is older and an asset to the community.

“It’s a shame that we have to tear the building down, I hate to see something like that even though it’s falling into disrepair,it was built in 1983 and if we can find another use for it I think that would be much, much better than just putting abulldozer to it. It’s a big building with a useable basement and I think it’s a shame to have to do that.”

McQuesten said in a final statement that the building should be demolished, and the council should proceed and stick tothe original plan that was made almost 10 years ago.

Harder was not in agreement, saying the building could still be moved and would not support the demolition.

shelby.craig@lacombeexpress.com