From her vantage point in the Soup Kitchen’s current location, Laura Rose can make out some of the activity going on at what will soon be the venue’s new home.
“Finally,” she told The Hub on Sept. 15. “The word is finally – with a sense of relief.”
Work on the venue’s new home, located on the west side of the Assumption Catholic Church property, got underway in earnest on Sept. 14 – three months after the Soup Kitchen and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith came to an agreement on a five-year lease for the property.
Hay River Director of Public Works Michael Richardson said the civil work – including the regrading of the lot and the construction of the pad to host the new 56’ by 12’ trailer – is 90 per cent complete. A culvert still needs to be installed to help improve drainage.
“Drainage was a major issue on the site,” Richardson said on Monday.
While Rose held out hope the new location would be able to be tied in to the current water infrastructure, Richardson said the water line is too far below grade – making the cost prohibitive.
“We’re going to proceed as scheduled with trucked water and sewer,” he said.
Richardson said the new trailer could be on site by as early as this week.
While the new location will provide an upgrade in space, Rose said she won’t be completely happy until she can get a porch built on the new building. The Soup Kitchen is currently attempting to acquire funding to cover the cost of the porch and a wheelchair-accessible washroom.
The move couldn’t come at a better time for the Soup Kitchen. Rose estimated she is currently feeding up to 40 people per day – nearly double the 25 people they average for this time of year.