The Community Services Centre is set to be decommissioned on June 30, 2020. (Photo by Brendan Collinge, MyLloydminsterNow.com staff)
Organizations housed by the Community Services Building face an uncertain path forward with the announcement of its decommissioning next year. The City of Lloydminster has decided to decommission the building on June 30, 2020, effectively giving a year for leasees to find a new home.
Built in 1951, the building has been around for nearly 70 years. It’s owned by the City who, after a review of many properties across Lloydminster, decided it wasn’t worth the upkeep. The building requires extensive repairs and maintenance to a number of different issues, including heating and ventilation issues, crawl space flooding, sewer line deficiencies, window replacement and rehabilitating the road access and parking lot.
The total price tag on all the need maintenance comes at around $2 million. City Council approved taking it out of service after determining it was past its lifespan. The organizations housed by the building are now considering where they’ll be moving to. Serena Sjodin, executive director of the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce, says the decision wasn’t too surprising to the chamber.
“We’ve been discussing this for about six months already. We’ve actually even started an internal committee because we have, in the back of our minds for years, known that there could be a possibility that we would be forced to move out,” says Sjodin.
The committee is currently reviewing its options; will they continue to rent somewhere, or buy a building. If they buy, it may be for just the chamber or include the other organizations in the building. Sjodin says the chamber would like to have its plan ready in the next six months and thinks the timeline is realistic. She adds the chamber will likely miss the old building, having housed many organizations like itself for so long.
“We’ll definitely miss it. We’ve been in here since probably the early 2000’s, if not earlier. This has been our home for a very long time.”
The Lloydminster Region Housing Group is another organization now looking for a new home. It provides subsidized housing for low-income seniors and families in the area. It’s also considering its options in a decision that will be left to the board of directors. Deanna Stang-Livingston, CAO of the Lloydminster Region Housing Group, thinks the timeline for moving is feasible, but regrets having to move.
“We’re not happy about it, that’s for sure,” says Stang-Livingston. “I mean, we love the location and its been home for us for a number of years. I guess these things happen, and we have to move.”
Mayor Gerald Aalbers agrees with his council’s decision to take it out of service. While he thinks the building has served its purpose and is no longer worth the repairs it needs, Mayor Aalbers says making the organizations inside the building aware of the plan was a priority. He adds that the City will do what they can to help moving tenants.
“We’ll work with those tenants as best as we can. The City isn’t in the property management business, so I’m sure there is a lot of market availability out there today. We’ll certainly help the non-profit groups as best as we can assist in that transition,” says Mayor Aalbers.
Mayor Aalbers says he doesn’t know what will be done with the land after the building is decommissioned. Leases for tenants expire in December, but they’re able to pay month-to-month rates until June 30.