The Battlefords Trade and Education Centre has received some new information about its proposed new facility to be located on 105th Street.
The organization has been in the midst of a fundraising drive much of the past year, though they have demurred as CUPlex fundraising has been the focus of the community at large. Nevertheless, the organization has so far raised around $260,000 from auctions, their recycling deal with SARCAN and other initiatives.
The idea for a new facility has been floating around for a decade, but has been vigorously pursued for only the last three. BTEC’s current facilities, located in the old armoury —turning 100 this year — and at the Vida McDonald centre, are inadequate to BTEC’s needs. Much of the floor space at the armoury, for example, is located on the second floor, more than a minor inconvenience for many clients.
The new facility, while having a similar square footage to the current buildings, will be expressly built for BTEC’s needs. All of the programming will be able to be done on the first floor, and the new building will have a large number of “pod rooms,” for smaller, quieter group work.
The facility will also have some new additions, like a large kitchen, a designated arts and crafts room and a room meant for “quiet time.” The new kitchen will allow the facility to host large events both for its clients and for fundraising purposes.
The bookstore, currently located in the Armoury, will also move to the new facility and its move will come with an accompanying increase in programming. Don Amos explained there would be more activities around the bookstore — more participants, more reading programs, more book sales and more client art displayed.
The move to the building is expected to coincide with an increase in clients due to a variety of factors. Currently there are around 80, but BTEC expects that number to rise to around 100 in the future. The total number of staff is not expected to rise with the move.
The facility will also be used by the Battlefords Residential Services Inc., who will have their own space for programming.
The design of the facility was a result of a long process of touring other similar sites and speaking to a consultant. The result is a facility designed with the future in mind, allowing for future growth while easily accommodating current needs.
“This move is long overdue,” Don Amos, BTEC executive director, said. “We’re in a building that’s a hundred years old and is very inadequate for our needs. For one thing, a good portion of our floor space is upstairs and stairs can be a problem.”
With the architectural plans finished and the site chosen, all that remains to be done before construction can begin is fundraising. The new facility has received $2 million from the provincial government and is currently pursuing funding from the federal government.
Once the CUPlex is finished, BTEC will also go to the local business community, and is currently planning a large fundraiser to be conducted in February.