Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman confirmed to Global News she has officially signed off on the sale of the old Little Bow Continuing Care Centre building located in Carmangay.
The Old Colony Mennonite Church has purchased the building and, according to president Aaron Froese, it will be a fully operating seniors facility with priority given to Mennonite seniors.
The church said it will be staffed with health care aides and operational staff.
“This is very exciting news for our community,” Carmangay Mayor Kym Nichols told Global News, “and we hope it brings some employment opportunities.”
The building was officially closed in the fall of 2012. Former Health Minister Fred Horne said at the time the closure was regrettable but the building was simply too old and underused.
During the debate back in 2012, then Little Bow MLA Ian Donovan noted the centre passed inspection in March 2012 and was re-certified by health officials as a care centre a month later.
Two months after that, it was ordered closed, Donovan said, even though the province had a shortage of long-term care facilities.
Community members held a number of rallies to try keep the facility open and to prevent its 18 patients from being sent to other facilities in surrounding communities.
READ MORE: A glimmer of hope for Carmangay
Their efforts fell short and all patients and staff were moved to other care facilities in southern Alberta by September 2012.
Staff at the time said they had not heard of the decision to close the facility until June but the Redford government said it had been in the works since January.