THUNDER BAY – The groundwork is under way at the Salvation Army’s Journey to Life Centre on Cumberland Street.
The new facility, expected to cost up to $15 million to complete, will replace the organization’s current headquarters, a building with cramped quarters that no longer meets the need of the services provided by the Salvation Army in Thunder Bay.
Major Lori Mitchell said the initial work began earlier this month.
“We’re in what’s called the prep phase, so they’re doing what’s called a pre-load, to make sure the building’s not going to sink once they build it,” Mitchell said.
“They’ve dug out basically the footprint of the building and now they will fill it with a certain amount of weight to compress the ground to make sure the foundation is ready for all the work that’s going to start in the spring.”
Mitchell said the long talked-about facility is exciting to watch come together, adding she was away when construction crews arrived and she had staff at the site send pictures to update her on the progress.
Now that she’s back, she finds herself staring out the window watching the work move along.
“I just want to watch the excavator at work,” she said.
Construction is expected to be complete within two year’s time, Mitchell said.
The facility, once built, will be a three-storey, 30,000 square-foot building that will allow the Salvation Army to expand its programming, provide more privacy to residents and hold one-on-one sessions aimed at ending the homelessness cycle.
To help cover the cost, a $2.5-million capital campaign is under way, led by Joe and Barbara MacEachern, co-chairs of the effort.
“I’m very excited to see the construction here. It makes the community aware that actually something is happening and it’s time that they can be involved in it,” Barbara said.
The design and construction team includes Manshield NWO Construction Inc., Lisa Sandham Interior Designs, i4 Architecture, TBT Engineering and Werner Schwar Landscape Architect.