The demolition of the old Elks Club building has begun to make way for beautifying the downtown core.
The Town of Drumheller was recently awarded the demolition contract of the former Elks Club located at 298 Centre Street in Drumheller. The contractor has set up and started work on March 6th and the work is expected to be completed by March 29th.
"The Town of Drumheller took possession of the building about a year ago. It was in quite a state of disrepair. There was a lot of structural issues with it, which were not repairable and therefore, unfortunately, we had to make the decision to knock the building down," said Communications Officer for the Town of Drumheller, Julia Fielding.
In 1928 construction on the Elks Hall was completed immediately to the north of the Napier Theatre. When the hall stood empty for years, you could still faintly see the colors of the Elks logo.
For years the Elks Hall was a hub of community events. The main floor had a spacious dance hall, and the basement had club rooms and, until 1954, a bowling alley.
There had been requests from the community to obtain some of the bricks for personal use and there will be a plan ahead for this.
The alley, South of the building is closed to the public, also the sidewalk and East lane of Centre Street in front of the Elks building for safety reasons.
"This is a work site so we need to be very conscious about safety. We are aware that people are very keen to have the bricks which is fine, but we're just working with it and we're hoping by the end of the week we'll have the plan and we can let people know how they can get ahold of the bricks," said Fielding. "The contractors have until March the 29th to finish everything. This is having the building demolished, all the demolition materials cleared and filled so that it's ready and a useable space for us."
It is interesting to see a part of Drumheller's history demolished, but it is old and can't be repaired, and forward thinking for our community is a must at this time.
"We have to move forward sometimes. the plan definitely for this year is to have a plaza, so re-doing the plaza from last year and putting it in this space. This is another pilot to see if this space works we can do events in it, and so that's the initial plan for this year. We'll review it in the fall to see how that works and we'll see what we do in the future," said Fielding.
There will always be history in the Valley, but sometimes change is good for future generations.