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Builder selected for new Hay River women’s shelter

A builder has been selected for a new women’s shelter in Hay River.
I n 2018, Janet-Marie Fizer, left, chair of the board of the Family Support Centre, and Kristine Vannebo-Suwala, the centre’s executive director, stand in front of the just-demolished building which once housed a women’s shelter. A tender was finally awarded last week. NNSL file photo

A builder has been selected for a new women’s shelter in Hay River.

Janet-Marie-Fizer, the chair of the board of the Family Resource Centre, said the successful proponent is Arcan Construction.

The company submitted a tender of $3.4 million, in a tendering process that ended on June 3.

“Now, there’s no contract in place, yet,” said Fizer. “I guess that process takes a couple of weeks to get all the details done.”

The other tender at $5.8 million came from Rowe’s Construction.

The new shelter will be built on Riverview Drive at a site where a former women’s shelter stood until being demolished in 2018.

Fizer was happy to have received two tenders and for one to have been selected.

“We thrilled,” she said.

However, the tenders for the construction part of the project were higher than expected.

“Obviously, we don’t have all of the financing at that level,” said Fizer. “It is more than we thought it was going to be.”

Plus, the project has other costs besides the actual construction, such as design and engineering.

“So we’re going to go back to the coalition, which is the funding group,” said Fizer, explaining the group includes the main funder Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation and the Family Resource Centre itself.

She said CMHC will be approached for more financial support to cover the higher than anticipated construction costs, and she is confident that will happen.

“Our funders are hugely supportive,” she said. “So it’s just a process to go back and get the approval.”

Now that a tender has been accepted, construction is still expected to start in July.

For close to four years, the Family Support Centre has been operating a women’s shelter in a house owned by the Town of Hay River.

During the June 8 online meeting of town council, Glenn Smith, the town’s senior administrative officer, noted the lease agreement expires at the end of June and a request for an extension will soon come before council.