M’CHIGEENG—The vision of members of the Anishinaabemowin Gamig Elders Language Activity Centre (AGELAC) to one day open a senior housing complex in M’Chigeeng will soon become a reality as work on this new building is expected to commence in the next few weeks.
Grace Fox, of the AGELAC board, told the Recorder last Thursday that tenders for the construction of the building were opened and accepted by M’Chigeeng council at a meeting earlier in the week. “The tenders have been awarded to a local construction company, Cheyenne Migwans Construction,” Ms. Fox told the Recorder. “So all the necessary paper work is done. I haven’t got all the particulars, but I do know construction will start in the next few weeks.”
Ms. Fox explained the building, “will be a 10-unit facility, with an elders centre-common room area (that will accommodate 150 people) contained within it.”
The idea of a senior housing complex in an independent living setting was initiated by the senior residents of M’Chigeeng, Ms. Fox had been quoted as saying in the January 20, 2012 edition of the Recorder. “This comes as a result of the seniors wanting to live in a safe, secure, independent community housing structure and enjoy each others company as members of the community.”
Ms. Fox said, “Our (AGELAC) mandate is preserving our language.” She pointed out the elders language activity centre opened four years ago in the community, where seniors take part in a lot of activities such as quilting, knitting, artwork, working with youth, gardening, planting and much more.
“The vision and idea to develop a housing complex has been keenly supported,” said Ms. Fox, who stressed the new housing unit, “will be an independent living complex.”
Ms. Fox explained the 10-unit housing complex is going to be located on land that has been cleared on what is known as Jake’s Hill on Spring Bay Road in M’Chigeeng. Conceptual drawings were completed by architect Chris Perry.
Ms. Fox explained the funds for the project are being derived, “through a mortgage for the project, approved by band chief and council through the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation.”
“It has been a goal and dream of the senior citizens in the community to have this building,” Ms. Fox told the Recorder. “We are really, really happy it is going to take place.”
Once work commences it will take eight months for completion, meaning the building will officially open sometime in 2013, added Ms. Fox.