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March target date for North Ridge addition

Future residents of a new seniors lodge will have to wait about three months before they can move into their suites even though the facility could be ready for occupancy before Christmas. The addition at North Ridge Lodge at 21 Mont Clare Pl.

Future residents of a new seniors lodge will have to wait about three months before they can move into their suites even though the facility could be ready for occupancy before Christmas.

The addition at North Ridge Lodge at 21 Mont Clare Pl. is on track to secure an occupancy permit Dec. 17 but the lodge’s operator doesn’t want to move people in over the Christmas period and wants to leave plenty of time in case the building encounters problems starting up its mechanical systems.

“Right now we’re telling people to be ready for March 1. If we can move some in earlier than that, that would be fine,” said Marguerite Bosvik, executive director of the Sturgeon Foundation, which operates the lodge.

The Christmas season is too busy and January is too cold to have people moving in, Bosvik said. In February future residents will be able to view their suites so they can decide what possessions they will be able to bring with them, she said.

“That way we have lots of leeway in case anything goes sideways,” she said.

The builders have said all along that the building would be ready before the end of the year and that timeline is holding up, Bosvik said. But she’s been hesitant to commit to a December move-in date because, if there’s an unforeseen delay, people who’ve sold their homes or given notice will be in “a pretty bad situation.”

The new facility has 60 residents signed up for its 48 suites (some units will have more than one person in them.) The site is fully booked with a waiting list, Bosvik said. The grand opening will likely be scheduled for May or June.

The facility will provide independent living with optional meals and cleaning services.

St. Albert resident Ursula Messerschmidt, 77, is anxious to move into her unit but isn’t concerned about the delayed move-in period. She and her husband have sold their condominium but their buyer isn’t in a hurry to move in.

“We’re OK that way but I’m anxious to get in,” Messerschmidt said.

“We’re excited then it keeps getting postponed. We’re already packed but we’re not fully packed.”

The building is made of pre-assembled “cubes” that have been built at a Barrhead factory, trucked to St. Albert and then stacked on the foundation. This technique allows for the building of living units at the same time as the foundation and has cut the construction time in half, the development group says. The project got approval in early February of this year, broke ground in mid-May and finished with foundation pouring in August.