Site prep starts for Marigold-WID HQ

By Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Strathmore Times

Preliminary work started at the site of the planned Marigold Library System and Western Irrigation District (WID) headquarters building on July 21. The structure, sited to the northwest of Pine Road and Orchard Park Road, will feature a wing for each organization and a shared meeting space and is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

Sean Feagan Photo

While the fresh soil piles across from No Frills might seem like mere molehills to passersby, they are mountainous milestones for two Strathmore-based organizations.

The site is the location of the new joint headquarters of Marigold Library System and the Western Irrigation District (WID). Now, with equipment starting to clear and grade the site, the organizations are closer to seeing their efforts realized.

“We were a little emotional about that – it’s been a long time coming and we have great visions,” said Michelle Toombs, Marigold CEO.

A contractor will be selected shortly, and work should commence within a month, explained Toombs. The building is expected to be completed by the summer of 2021.

The site, located to the northwest of the intersection between Pine Road and Orchard Park Road, was originally owned by WID. The two organizations entered into a purchase and sale agreement for Marigold to acquire half of the land and both have signed a development agreement.

By being located just a couple hundred metres south of Highway 1, the location will ensure the efficiency of Marigold deliveries across its large service area that includes 44 municipalities.

“We think that it will be very suitable for our operations, where we are sending van deliveries out every day of the work week to places as far as Consort,” said Toombs.

The structure will feature a wing for each organization. It will also have a common shared space that will include washrooms, a kitchen and a large meeting room to accommodate about 60 people around a table, or more in lecture-style seating, explained Toombs.

Calgary-based BRZ Partnership Architecture Inc. was awarded the contract for consulting and architectural services for the building’s design.

“It was very much a collaborative process (with BRZ), in which Marigold had a lot of input into the space that we will occupy, and WID did the same for their space,” said Toombs. There is also a joint facility committee for the two organizations to collaborate on the plans for the shared areas.

The building is being funded in part through a $3 million infrastructure grant from Alberta Infrastructure, as well as up to $2 million from Wheatland County. In addition, Marigold is allocating $3 million from its reserves to fund the project.

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