The Yukon Party government is moving ahead with plans to replace Dawson City’s aging McDonald Lodge retirement home.
Premier Darrell Pasloski announced on Thursday that he hopes to see the lodge replaced with a new building within a year.
“I’m hopeful that we want to get it done as soon as we can. I’m saying by next year, or 2015 at the latest,” Pasloski said.
Pasloski didn’t have specifics about the new building, but he said the government will get to work on design immediately. He did say the new building will be larger than the current 11-bed facility, and could also provide expanded service including convalescence and respite care.
The budget for the new building will largely depend on the design work.
“There are some preliminary numbers, because that is important, and they will be in the budget that will be introduced next Thursday,” said Pasloski.
Klondike Liberal MLA Sandy Silver said he was happy with the decision, but it does raise some questions as well.
There are many in the community who want to see the old building saved and used as either low income or summer staff housing, he said.
“Best case scenario they sell this off for a buck or whatever they have to do and make it a success story for a local housing solution,” Silver said.
Pasloski said he has heard many of the same ideas, and the government will look at those possibilities as they develop their plans.