Wrecking ball coming soon
Holland College will soon begin work on a new student residence
Demolition of seven properties in Charlottetown to make way for a new Holland College student residence will begin soon.
Justin Dunn, director of facilities management for Holland College, said all residents who were living in the 21 residential units at the corner of Grafton and Cumberland streets have found new accommodations.
“In fact, I think the last tenant was going to move (Wednesday), but there was a slight delay in where they were going to move but they’re going to be moving in the days ahead,’’ Dunn said.
“I know Holland College has helped the vast majority of tenants with their transition so it’s been a real positive piece in terms of trying to make the transition as smooth as possible for those residential units.’’
There will be activity on site in early August. Habitat for Humanity will go in to secure any suitable building materials before demolition begins.
“That will begin in August, and we will have construction that will continue right up until it’s projected (to finish) next August for the new 80-bed student residence.’’
He’s referring to the new $6.96-million residence that will feature one-, two- and threebedroom apartment-style units, similar to that of Glendenning Hall, the college’s 186-bed residence located across the street on Grafton.
Work was supposed to have begun earlier in July, but Dunn said the delay won’t affect the project. He said helping the people who lived in the affected properties was a bigger priority.
“I think we’ll be fine in that regard,’’ he said, referring to meeting the August 2018 finish line. “It was really important that all of our neighbours, the 21 residential units and the commercial tenants, we’re trying to make sure that transition is as smooth as possible for them.’’
Speaking of commercial tenants, Sadat’s Cuisine will be moving to 223 University Ave., just past Invesco and Avis, in August.
Rosalind Waters, a member of the P.E.I. Citizen Advocacy and Trade Justice P.E.I. who knows some of the affected residents, said it’s been a hard process for those involved.
“It was very stressful,’’ Waters said.
“There were tenants dropping by the VRC (Voluntary Resource Council) wanting to make phone calls. There was a lot of anxiety, but I think everybody did get a place (to live). I haven’t heard of anyone who is homeless.’’
Waters said to no one’s surprise, not everyone is happy with their new accommodations.
“Some residents are unhappy with how it ended up for them. One of them went from a one bedroom to a single room and lost his privacy and he has disabilities. It was not a good ending for him.’’
Two cyclists ride by some of the properties set for demolition in August. Holland College is making preparation to build a new 80-bed student residence that will cost nearly $7 million.