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March 23, 2020
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LETHBRIDGE - A new chapter was written on Tuesday, May 8, for Lethbridge Family Services as they held the grand opening of their new building.
The project includes a 10,000 square foot expansion west of the current site located at 1107 2nd Avenue "A" North, with a renovation to the adjacent building, joining two buildings together to increase the square footage for LFS.
The expanded site will allow LFS to support the increasing service needs of the community and improve the quality of lives and well-being for southwestern Albertans for another century of service.
In a release, LFS stated it's thanks to the support of long-term, local community partners, Wesbridge Construction and Alvin Reinhard Fritz Architects that this day was able to come to fruition.
LFS CEO Sandra Mintz says the additional space will allow for enhanced collaboration and integration of services across the organization.
"From our original collaboration 29 years ago, we're so thankful to Wesbridge Construction and Alvin Fritz and his team for working with us once again to support this much-needed expansion, enabling LFS to better support its communities."
Mintz also discussed the services that will be offered at the new building.
"In this building, we've got a huge array of services for people with disabilities. We've got a full continuum of phycological services, so that includes counselling for groups, individuals, couples, families. We've also got outreach services out of the counselling department so, for example, training and education around suicide prevention and many other types of topics," Mintz said, adding they will also have their immigrant services in the building.
Right now, LFS serves 7,000 individuals per year and in a lot of cases, they serve those individuals where they live in the community.
"With the space that we have now, this expanded site and our location on Mayor Magrath Drive, we're able to absolutely accommodate the needs of the clients who come for service in our offices, and we have a reasonable amount of room for growth," Mintz said.
The Home Support Services offered at the LFS building on Mayor Magrath Dr. will continue but Mintz said it's mostly related to home health care.
"We have health care aids that go out to 1,100 private homes in the community each and every day and that's their home base."
Architect Al Fritz says 29 years ago the current Lethbridge Family Services building was ARFAi's first project in the City of Lethbridge.
"Being our first project, LFS has always held a warm spot in our hearts and we are so grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with LFS and Wesbridge Construction Ltd. in the design of this substantial expansion," Fritz added.
One of the aspects that makes this new building different, is the design that focused heavily on the right to light.
"Al has done a lot of work around biophilia, which is a whole field of study, where you bring nature into the space you're building. There's a lot of research on what that does for individuals mental health and well being," Mintz said.
From that perspective, she says that the building is state of the art.
"The biophilia concept incorporated into this building means an enormous amount of light will come into it from outside which is very good for people," Mintz continued. "We're also bringing a lot of greenery into our space and it's all sort of consistent with this research around nature, people and their mental health."