REGINA — Catholic Family Services Society has a new location in Regina, the fifth time it has moved since its founding in 1936. The facilities offered in the new location and the space it provides may just be the final move for many years.
The address is 160 McIntosh Street, a residential area in North West Regina in a building that sits by itself surrounded by grass and open space. A service station sits on the corner and across from it is Holy Trinity Church.
The building is U-shaped, with one side holding CFSS offices and the other containing Roots and Wings Child Care Centre. “We felt a child care centre was something we lacked,” said executive director David Sax, speaking with people at the May 4 official opening. It had 12 children on opening day; Sax expects it to grow to 30 by the end of the year, and ultimately to 50.
It was built in 1966 as a reception centre for children coming into care. It morphed into a home for troubled teens, but has stood empty for about two years because the government ended the program.
The transition for CFSS began in May 2015 and was a collaborative effort between real estate firm Avison Young, ISLA Ventures Inc., the government of Saskatchewan and CFSS.
“The government wanted this to be repurposed to mean something for the community,” said Sax in an interview with the PM. The building was in good shape but needed some renovations and paint to accommodate the needs of both CFSS and the child care centre. ISLA Ventures Inc. was tasked with finding investors to help purchase the building — “investors with a conscience,” as one visitor put it.
Guest speakers at the event included Education Minister Don Morgan, representing the provincial government; City of Regina councillor Bob Hawkins, representing the city; Richard Jankowski, president of ISLA Ventures Inc.; board chair Adrian Fuchs; Frank Dornstauder, chair of CFSS Foundation; and archdiocesan administrator Rev. Lorne Crozon.
Jankowski described how the deal came together with the government, CFSS, Avison Young and ISLA Ventures working together to meet everyone’s needs. Dornstauder gave a brief history of the building, formerly known as Dale’s House, named after Alice Dale, a former social worker, and Crozon said as a parish priest he was always appreciative of the services provided by CFSS. Crozon, along with Deacon Joe Lang, blessed the main entrance to the building as part of its official opening.
Guests then took a tour of the facility, followed by a reception on the concrete patio behind the building.