OI, chamber centre may open next month
Provincial funding was just approved – Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017 11:45 am – By: Doug Collie
A facility combining Olds Institute (OI), the chamber of commerce, Uptowne Olds and a visitor information centre should be open as early as next month, OI executive director Mitch Thomson says.
The facility, to be known as the Information and Entrepreneurship Centre, will be located in the former Cooperators building across 51st Avenue from the post office.
The facility will be the headquarters for OI and the Olds & District Chamber of Commerce plus serve as a visitor information centre. It will also be a space where the Uptowne Olds committee can meet.
However, Uptowne coordinator Dalaura Glubrecht is expected to take over the operation of the Different Strokes gallery from current Uptowne coordinator Deb Olauson, so Glubrecht is expected to spend most of her time at that business, rather than in the Information and Entepreneur Centre.
Organizers have received a provincial Economic Development and Trade grant which will help cover renovations and equipment for the centre. Thomson pegs that figure at $119,000.
He says those renovations may not occur for a week or two though.
“We received confirmation that we’ve been approved. We haven’t received the contract that binds us as yet so we won’t be able to commence construction until we’ve got the paperwork signed,” he said when interviewed. “But (we anticipate that to happen) very, very shortly.”
Currently, the parking lot in front of the old Cooperators offices and the adjacent Padnoma Supprt Serivces seems pretty full most of the time, but Thomson is confident there’ll be room for everyone, including big RVs brought in by visitors to the community plus the electric car charging stations.
“The facility itself has three lanes of parking stalls plus stalls along the side of the building. The lanes themselves are 120 feet long each, plus the off-street parking,” he says.
Noel West/MVP Staff