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A bunch related to a neighborhood church in Prince Edward County is changing a college right into a seniors residence to relieve a rising drawback that it says is because of the space’s speedy transformation right into a vacationer attraction. 

Volunteers from Emmanuel Baptist Church have shaped a registered not-for-profit group that is began the venture to show the college into LoveSong Seniors Housing and Neighborhood Hub.

Ken How, the venture facilitator, mentioned it is a response to the “huge influence” the county’s recognition is having on the supply of housing for seniors.

“It is grow to be an actual vacationer, Airbnb-type location,” How mentioned.

“Houses have doubled, nearly tripled in worth prior to now 5 years. It is onerous to imagine how speedy change has occurred.”

Ken How, proper, receives the keys to Pinecrest Memorial College from Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson, left, at an occasion earlier this month. (Ken How)

He says whereas short-term leases, craft breweries and wineries are proliferating in Prince Edward County, inexpensive housing is getting more durable and more durable to seek out, particularly for the aged.

How and different volunteers went by means of the method of buying the property from the college board.

The venture has the complete help of the Prince Edward County municipal authorities, which first bought the property from the college board earlier than transferring it to the LoveSong group for $375,000. Pinecrest Memorial College in Bloomfield was closed by the Hastings and Prince Edward District College Board in 2017.

Authorities help

“It was one thing that we felt we needed to leap on,” Prince Edward County mayor Steve Ferguson mentioned in an interview.

“The recognition of this place has put stress on our housing sources. The seniors inhabitants, which is disproportionately massive, has felt the influence of that recognition,” Ferguson mentioned.

LoveSong is now searching for seed and grant cash from different ranges of presidency. “I hope the federal authorities is receptive to their requests,” Ferguson mentioned.

The sale to LoveSong was finalized earlier this month. The group is now working with native builders and designers to maneuver into the subsequent stage of the venture: elevating funds to renovate the vacant college.

A rendering of LoveSong Seniors Housing and Neighborhood Hub in Prince Edward County. The event is deliberate on the web site of a just lately bought college. (Mia Lane)

Though it will likely be pricey — the aim is $10 million — How says it will likely be simpler and cheaper than constructing a brand new seniors’ residence from scratch.

The varsity has terrazzo flooring and 10-foot broad hallways. They plan to maintain the gymnasium for health courses and different actions, each for residents and the broader neighborhood.

“It is in nice form,” How mentioned. They purpose to open the complicated for occupancy in 2022.

The event will embody 50 items, 25 of which shall be inexpensive housing. The varsity property is 20 acres in complete, and also will have a neighborhood backyard.

 ‘Outdoors the field’

This is not the primary time an Ontario college has been transformed right into a seniors’ residence. How says he toured a number of, together with properties in Peterborough and Owen Sound.

Some are privately run. However How believes LoveSong’s community-based, not-for-profit method to re-purposing surplus colleges is an “exterior the field” mannequin that may catch on elsewhere.

“We have got to be taking a look at how we will do a greater job,” he mentioned.

“I feel the mannequin is relevant all through the province.”

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