Prince Albert city council gave unanimous approval to a Metis-Nation Saskatchewan (MN-S) development permit for the former Rivier Academy building located at 1405 Bishop Pascal Place.
The Sisters of Presentation have accepted an offer from the Metis-Nation Saskatchewan to purchase the property and expand their presence in Prince Albert.
“This is a win-win for both groups,” said Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick, who seconded the motion to approve the Development Permit application. “The Sisters of the Presentation have been looking to sell this building for years now. They had some projects that fell through, which was unfortunate, but now a purchaser is there.”
The MN-S plans to repurpose the property and focus on the development of an Early Learning Centre, a Child Care Centre, a Children and Youth Activity Centre, a Health Services Support Centre, an Adult Education Centre, a Social Development Centre, a Language and Culture Centre, an Elder Care Support Centre, and a Housing and Homelessness Support Centre.
“By the looks of what [MN-S] planned, it's going to be a very busy building,” Ogrodnick said. “A lot of services being provided in our community that are much needed and it's by an agency that knows what they’re doing.”
The Development Permit application is for the use of private school, public assembly, catering service, child care centre, health clinic, and office to accommodate the programs and services MN-S intends to provide in the short term.
Metis-Nation Saskatchewan plans to continue community access to the pool and gymnasium.
“It is not our intention to remove such a valuable resource from the larger community and we are open to flexible accommodations,” MN-S Executive Project Manager Kelly Pruden wrote in a letter to City Council.
The MN-S said the services will benefit Prince Albert by increasing the number of visitors to the City and creating economic growth by providing 50 full-time employment positions. The large-scale-multi-year renovation will also encourage the purchase of goods and services from local businesses and employment of local skilled trades.
Bailey Sutherland, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald