M.L.A. Pat Stier cuts the ribbon at the Coleman Senior’s Drop-In reopening as Crowsnest Pass Mayor Bruce Decoux, Crowsnest Pass Senior Group President Frank Loseth and residents of the drop-in center look on.
Pass Herald Staff
The ribbon was cut at the newly renovated Coleman Seniors Drop-In Centre, September 28th.
MLA Pat Stier, Crowsnest Pass Mayor Bruce Decoux, administration and residents of the seniors’ group all attended the opening of the refurnished historic site.
“The community has a restored historic building available for use,” said Fred Bradley, president of the Crowsnest Pass Historic Society.
“It’s really good,” exclaimed Frank Loseth, president of the Coleman Seniors Group, “People are very happy- they talk to the executive (of the group) and the people with the municipal government.”
About $448,800 was spent to restore the Seniors Drop-In Center (not including recent upgrades to the sidewalk) between 2002 and 2013, according to Bradley.
“There’s a new kitchen (donated by Teck Coal), bathrooms, sidewalks, doors, windows, steps and new electrical,” said Loseth.
The renovation of the Seniors Center was funded by grants from the Province (Alberta Historical resources Foundation, Community Facility Enhancement Program) and federal agencies like;New Horizons, said Bradley.
Coleman Seniors fundraising, Teck Coal and the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass also donated time and resources to the renovation effort, according to Bradley.
Three casinos were held over the past nine years raising about $90,000 for the Coleman Seniors Drop-In Centre, said Bradley.
Shar Lazarotto with the Crowsnest Heritage Initiative and Crowsnest Pass Community Futures assisted with applying for and coordinating the first and second casinos, while, Frank Loseth, president of the Coleman Drop-In Centre, coordinated the third casino, said Bradley.
The Seniors Drop-In Centre is also known as the Coleman Union Hall/Hospital and was built in 1905, according to HistoricPlaces.ca.
The Seniors Center was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 1986, the site said.
The heritage value of the Coleman Union Hall/Hospital resides in its historic role as a community institution serving the medical and social needs of the area’s citizens.
The Hall was built between 1905 and 1906 by the local miner’s union who remained in control of the building until 1949- when the new municipal hospital was built and the Union Hall/Hospital was turned into a meeting place for retired miners, the site said.
The hospital only admitted union members and their families when it first opened, this is in contrast to the rest of hospitals in Alberta which were nearly the exclusive domain of the Catholic Church or municipal governments, said HistoricPlaces.ca.
The case of a union providing medical services to its members and a community is unique and an important demonstration of local initiative in providing social services in an industrial company town, according to the site.