Kerby Centre relocation update
For more than 40 years, Kerby Centre has established itself as Calgary’s premiere multi-purpose seniors’ centres, providing a host of services to older adults in the community.
Due to the rapidly growing “boomer” population, and as the services and number of older adults attending Kerby Centre has grown to 25,000 annually, so too has the need to expand and improve Kerby Centre’s infrastructure in order to continue offering its services to an increasingly diverse population.
Built in 1948 as the original Mount Royal College, the current building is approaching 70 years in age, and has witnessed a significant amount of wear and tear during that time. Maintenance costs have become arduous; safety (from the LRT traffic, increased social issues in the parking lots) is a concern for older adults, volunteers, visitors and staff; and the environmental conditions inside the building have made it extremely challenging for all who visit.
In July 2017, City Council unanimously approved a motion for City Administration to work collaboratively with the Kerby Centre, and their potential development partners on a relocation plan that would potentially see the Kerby Centre relocated to City owned lands on the intersection of Haddon Road and Heritage Drive Southwest – former home of the YMCA.
Over the last year Kerby, working with a consulting team, assembled a great deal of information regarding the potential site and its surroundings, prepared preliminary site plans and presented a proposed acquisition strategy to the City. This resulted in a report being presented to the appropriate Committees and Council in July 2018.
Following consideration of our proposal by City Council as part of its meeting of July 31, 2018, we were informed that our proposal had been rejected.
Because the report dealt with questions of land ownership and values it was dealt with by Council in a closed session and we were only informed that our proposal has been rejected and City Council had requested that the Civic Administration explore alternative potential locations with us.
Kerby Centre President Zane Novak said: “We are very disappointed with this decision as we believed that the location was a good fit for Kerby’s needs and our proposed acquisition strategy was a reasonable one from both the City’s and Kerby’s perspectives.”
Kerby CEO Luanne Whitmarsh said: “This setback is very unfortunate. We are now in the process of examining all of our options as we are still facing numerous challenges operating out of our existing facility”.
Kerby Centre relocation update
For more than 40 years, Kerby Centre has established itself as one of Calgary’s premiere multi-purpose seniors’ centres, providing a host of services to older adults in the community.
Due to a rapidly growing boomer population, and as the services and number of older adults Kerby Centre offers has grown, so too has the need to expand and improve Kerby Centre’s infrastructure in order to continue offering its services to an increasingly diverse population.
Built in 1948 as the original Mount Royal College, the current building is approaching 70 years in age, and has witnessed a significant amount of wear and tear during that time. Maintenance costs have become arduous; safety is a concern for older adults, volunteers, visitors and staff; and the environmental conditions inside the building have made it extremely challenging for all who visit.
On August 2, 2017, City Council unanimously approved a motion to work collaboratively with the Kerby Centre, and their potential development partners on a relocation plan that would potentially see the Kerby Centre relocated to city owned lands on the intersection of Haddon Road and Heritage Drive southwest – former home of the YMCA.
The proposed site sits on 2.5 acres of land, and is situated adjacent to the Heritage LRT station, with excellent transportation access via bus, train, and motor vehicles. The location is ideal for the Kerby Centre’s long-term vision of ensuring older adults have access to the multitude of programs and services they’ve come to rely on and expect.
Kerby Centre CEO, Luanne Whitmarsh, says this is an exciting time for Kerby Centre membership, participants, volunteers, and staff.
“As we go through the planning stages, we will ensure we communicate regularly of the progress,” says Whitmarsh.
Kerby Centre will work with city administration over the next year to come up with a viable relocation plan to present to City Council, during which time the Centre will secure funding, complete development plans, and work towards identifying potential partners.
Kerby Centre Relocation Project – Planning for the Future
In 2011, the Kerby Centre Board of Directors made the decision to relocate the organization into a new home that will better serve the seniors population of Calgary. This web page is dedicated to informing our valued stakeholders about the path to our new and exciting vision.
The Board is committed to ensuring there will be no disruption in programs and services provided throughout the relocation process. The existing Kerby Centre will continue to serve the 55+ in Calgary until a new home is built.
Updates will be added to this page as they become available.
Calgary Foundation Grant
Kerby Centre is very pleased to be the recipient of the Fall 2013 Community Grants Program through The Calgary Foundation in the amount of $45,600.00 for our application in support of the Kerby Centre Social Return on Investment Assessment and Business Case. This initiative will help strengthen Kerby Centre’s ability to achieve its mission by clearly defining an optimal strategic direction and vision for the agency to address its key challenges and to ensure its long-term sustainability.
Why is Kerby Centre Moving:
Over the past 40 years, Kerby Centre established itself as a flagship seniors’ centre serving individuals in every postal code across Calgary and beyond. Also, over the course of 40 years, Kerby Centre witnessed many changes. Some of these changes are affecting the long-term vision of what Kerby Centre means to our city.
Today, Kerby Centre reached a critical stage concerning its future requiring a focused effort to ensure the long-term success of the agency. Three existing and emerging challenges were identified as having profound long-term impacts on Kerby’s ability to provide essential programs and services to the seniors population of Calgary.
These challenges include:
- Severe Access Disruptions
- Existing Building and Site Issues
- Rapidly Growing Seniors Population
In response to these challenges, Kerby Centre must take an aggressive step forward to ensure the agency’s long-term sustainability. Based upon the results of considerable research and analysis, Kerby Centre’s Board of Directors made an informed decision to relocate the entire Centre to more optimally respond to these challenges and the evolving needs of seniors.
How the Decision to Move Was Made:
Since 2007, Kerby undertook comprehensive research and analysis to better understand the impacts of the challenges to the current facility, as well as viable options to best address them. These critical efforts included a combination of commissioned reports from professional advisors, as well as stakeholder consultation (i.e. members, volunteers, staff, and community partners). The findings and recommendations of these efforts supported the idea of relocation, which was ultimately approved by the Kerby’s Board of Directors in November of 2011.
The Future Kerby Centre:
Kerby’s vision for its future home is: a purpose-built facility that optimally serves the Calgary-area seniors population in a manner that fulfills and inspires improved quality of life.
This new home will offer expanded programs, services, and facilities that will cater to an ever growing and increasingly diverse seniors population, with a focus in the following areas:
- Comprehensive Health & Wellness
- Physical Education & Recreation
- Education & Training
- Seniors Care
- Broad Leisure & Entertainment
- Food & Shopping
The new Kerby Centre is also envisioned as a true community asset that will establish stronger links with Calgary’s broader population through programming and shared use opportunities with various community groups, partners and individuals.
Kerby Centre is in the early planning stages of its relocation process. Due to the size and scope of Kerby Centre’s proposed relocation project, it will take a great amount of effort over a number of years before our dream will become a reality.
The following project phases need to be completed before we relocate into a new building:
- Completion and approval of applicable city planning processes
- Development of a functional and architectural vision for the new Kerby Centre
- Securing project funding
- Purchasing property
- Construction and fit-out of the new Centre
- Transition from the existing Centre to the new one
What Will Happen to the Old Kerby Centre:
The existing Kerby Centre will continue to serve the 55+ in Calgary until a new home is built. When the new Kerby Centre is ready for occupancy, the existing facility will be turned over to its landlord (Alberta Infrastructure) and the Rotary Shelter building will be sold.