BARRHEAD - Barrhead and District Family Community Support Services (FCSS) hope to be fully in their new digs by early October.
That is what FCSS executive director Karen Gariepy told the Barrhead Leader during a Sept. 23 tour of their new downtown building at the corner of 51 Street and 51 Avenue.
FCSS staff, with the help of several Barrhead Bombers players, were preparing the building, moving some of the things such as bookshelves into the building before the official Oct. 1 moving day.
Gariepy said it was always one of FCSS' goals to move downtown.
At one time, the not-for-profit organization had a more central location, but for the last several years, they had been operating from what used to be an old seniors housing facility on 45 Street.
"It wasn't the best ideal location," she said.
Gariepy added the location, in combination with the overall condition of the building (in the spring, asbestos was found in the building necessitating FCSS to operate temporarily from a mobile trailer in the building's parking lot for two weeks), along with the desire to lower their expenses prior to a pending rent increase, sparked the impetus to move.
However, it wasn't until Gariepy learned through Town of Barrhead Coun. Dave Sawatzky a suitable building might be available that the move became possible, noting that there are not a lot of buildings in the municipality that fit their needs, occupied or otherwise.
The building had been transformed from an old grocery store to an office building by Barrhead Plumbing and Heating.
Although the building mostly suited FCSS' needs, Gariepy said a lot of work still needed to be done to make it workable.
Much of that was done by staff, along with volunteers, she said.
"Which was a great help, but we did also have to hire a contractor for some of it," Gariepy said.
FCSS volunteer coordinator Trisha Enman agreed, adding the move would not have been possible without the help of many volunteers.
“Everyone has been just so generous with their time. In addition to the Bombers, the kids over at the Barrhead Outreach School have volunteered two afternoons of their time and we have several of our older volunteers waiting in the wings to help us get us settled in,” she said.