Environment Yukon has provided more details as to why the opening of Whitehorse’s new Salvation Army building has been delayed for nearly a year.
The department’s director of communications Roxanne Stasyszyn has confirmed contamination was found on the site.
She writes that “a number of conditions at the site extended the original timeline and demanded some re-design for construction.”
The contaminants include asbestos left over from previous buildings as well as oil or other hydrocarbons contaminating the soil.
Stasyszyn says the department had a concern over groundwater contamination. As a result, “building design modifications were undertaken as a precautionary measure.” Part of the redesign included the need for sub-slab ventilation.
The building was first promised for fall 2016 and has been delayed since. The new centre will offer more transitional housing and support programs as well as an increased number of beds overall.
Mark Stanley, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army in Edmonton, says he’s focusing on the positive news that the new centre is nearly complete.
“Our conversations with the Yukon government are ongoing. This has been a fantastic partnership with the Salvation Army,” he said.
Stanley said they hope to open in the first or second week of September.
“I can’t speak to exactly all the reasons for the delay, but I know it’s been a high priority for the Salvation Army and the government to get it completed. So we’re pleased we’re very near the end.”
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