UPDATE: Thursday, July 19, 2012
Demolition will cost $800,000 and is scheduled to be completed by Friday, August 31, says Debra Boudreau, administrator of Tideview Terrace.
The demolition of Tideview Terrace is expected to begin right away.
Workers with Vector Demolition of Bedford were painting survey stakes on the grounds of the former senior’s residence on West Street in Digby on Friday, July 13. And they erected a fence around the property Monday, July 16.
Debra Boudreau, administrator of Tideview Terrace, confirmed Friday that “contracts had been executed” and that work could begin Monday.
Boudreau says she will have a press release ready for the end of this week.
Resident’s moved out of the building a year ago August and the building has sat empty since then. The Department of Health had agreed to pay for the demolition if it happened within six months of the residents leaving but granted an extension until now.
John Roswell of the Digby Clare Mental Health Volunteers Association had been hoping for an extension himself. He wanted more time to prepare a business plan to run the building as transitional housing for people recently released from acute mental health care.
“There is a terrible need for that kind of facility,” says Roswell. “It would greatly improve people’s chances of making it in the community after they are released.”
Roswell had convinced Harold Theriault, the Liberal MLA for Digby Annapolis, to send a letter to the Minister of Health Dave Wilson in late June.
That letter asked the department of health to give Roswell another month to come up with is business plan for operating the facility.
“I just wanted them to take a good look at the plan first,” says Theriault. “I always say measure twice and cut once. We don’t need infrastructure torn down in our community. We need it built up. Surely somebody can do something with that building.”
Theriault received no answer to that letter.
Digby’s Mayor, Ben Cleveland sits on the board of Tideview. He agrees it would be great to see someone use the building.
“I agree, it’s a shame,” says Cleveland. “But who’s going to pay for it? We didn’t want to see a group move in there and then down the road they can’t afford to run it.”
The mayor says the town looked at taking over the 34,000 sq. ft. building.
“Even the town couldn’t afford it,” he says.
He says the town does need a centre for groups like the CMHVA, the Silver Angels and other senior groups and youth groups and he would eventually like to see the town build a smaller more energy-efficient structure.
There are currently no plans for the land where the old Tideview sits.