Berry Architecture Chosen to Design New Crestview Lodge

Berry Architecture Chosen to Design New Crestview Lodge

By Jocelyn Doll, Pincher Creek Echo

In March, after years of funding applications, the Pincher Creek Foundation secured both federal and provincial money for the construction of the new Crestview Lodge.

Over the summer the foundation reviewed architecture firm tenders for the project. At the beginning of September they appointed Berry Architecture as the prime consultant.

“Being apart of the general optimism and excitement from both the staff and the residents and knowing that we are preparing for the future and doing the right thing, it gives me a good feeling,” said Millie Loeffler, manager of Crestview Lodge.

George Berry, CEO of Berry Architecture, has been working with the Pincher Creek Foundation for the past seven years. He was the foundation’s choice for prime consultant in 2012, but the funding didn’t come through. This time around, the construction of the new lodge is a sure thing.

“Yesterday’s budget will not effect this development in anyway,” said Doug Thornton, town councillor and vice-chair of the Pincher Creek Foundation, last Wednesday. “This is signed off and we have our prime consultant in place.”

Berry and his firm have worked on many seniors housing projects across the province. He claims that the room allocated by the province as the standard was designed by his firm a few years ago.

“We do a lot of research and attend a lot of international conferences,” he said.

Though a drawing of the new lodge was presented at the funding announcement earlier this year, the design has changed since then and it will continue to develop in the next couple weeks.

“Last night I wanted to make a change, if I wasn’t up early this morning I would have… so I actually brought some trace paper and some markers and we’ll be doing a little bit of a design exercise today to see how we like this change,” Berry said.

The new lodge will have 50 self-contained units, meaning each room will have it’s own full bathroom. In most cases the units will be more than double their current size with room for a small fridge and a sitting area. There will also be a bigger dining hall and kitchen, and more recreation spaces.

“It’s a state of the art building that is coming in here,” Berry said. “It is being designed and thought for the next 60 or 70 years as care level changes, as staffing changes, even as technology changes.”

In order to make the building as energy efficient as possible, Berry Architecture has looked at the orientation of the building on the property and studied how wind and snow will affect the building. The plans include triple pane windows and maximization of sunlight.

“The trend is to create something a little bit more hospitality-based rather than care-based,” he said. “We are not creating institutions.”

Berry Architecture is based in Red Deer, but once construction begins there will be opportunities for local businesses and workers to be involved in the project. Berry said construction will take around 16 months, and expects the project will be a big economy boost for the town.

During construction the residents will live in the current lodge, once they move over to the new building, the old building will be demolished.

“Our current lodge is 55 years old and it doesn’t meet today’s standards for space requirements and the modern features that Alberta Seniors has now standardized,” Loeffler said.

Not only will the new lodge be more spacious, it will also have a sprinkler system, which is the standard for fire safety in seniors homes.

Loeffler said the foundation has done some cost projection and estimated that rent will increase but only by a small amount. The foundation’s mandate has always been to keep rent affordable for mid to low income seniors. Loeffler is also anticipating having more of the rooms occupied, which will keep rent low for everyone. Currently only 29 of the 47 rooms at the lodge are inhabited.

“It will be more efficient, believe it or not, to run operations in a larger building,” she said.

Right now the new building is scheduled to be done in September of 2017.