Ground was broken Tuesday morning at the construction site that will one day be a combined hub for youth along with housing for seniors. 

"This hole in the ground that we see may not look like much right now, but it's the culmination of years of relentless effort, unwavering commitment, and an unyielding belief in the betterment of our community by our community. On this site will one day sit Eby place - providing a multi-use centre for youth and seniors." said Amber Zanon, Board Chair of the Terrace and District Community Services Society.

The 7,500 square foot ground floor space will be dedicated to the Foundry's centre's operations, which provide accessible health and wellness services to youth, including mental health care, substance use services, physical and sexual health care, youth and family peer supports, and social services. 

Above the Foundry centre, will be 4 floors, creating 43 units of seniors housing. Rent for the units will be determined based on unit size and household income. Michael McFetridge, Executive Director of the Terrace and District Community Services Society, expressed the necessity for this centre;

"Our Community has needed this kind of holistic, integrated healthcare model a very long while, and I'm so happy that our youth are going to be able to engage in a self-determined journey on their health and wellness. This is their opportunity to take control and imbue the journey of life, as full and enriched as possible. So thank you for for doing that."

The project has been a community initiative, a collaboration between the Foundry, Terrace Community District and Social Services, BC Housing, the City of Terrace, and the Province. The Seniors housing portion was funded entirely by BC Housing.

Mayor Sean Bujtas expanded on some of the issues they encountered in development;

"In late 2022, Mr. McFetridge came to then-Mayor Carol Leclerc with concerns the project was struggling to get off the ground due to rising costs and interest rates. Then then-Mayor and Council made Foundry a strategic lobbying priority. We sat down with the Minister of Mental Health and Addiction to express the needs and the concerns of losing this project.

Last year, knowing the Premier was in Prince Rupert, I took the drive to Rupert and tried to speak to the Premier Eby on the concerns of losing this project.

When I told the Premier the concern, his response was 'We can't let that happen'. A few weeks later TDCC was informed they had the extra million dollars they needed to get this project done."

Many local businesses and individuals were also said to have donated to the cause - notably LNG Canada made a donation to the Foundry that was the single largest private donation in the organization's history. 

Dr. Steve Mathias is the Co-Exective Director of The Foundry, whose Terrace location has been operating in an interim location since 2021. It is one of 17 Foundry locations throughout the province. Dr. Mathias expressed his appreciation for the combined efforts; 

"It truly is a testament to the staff dedication, perseverance and supporting Foundry's mission that we're finally going to have a dedicated space, a brand new Foundry Center, where we can continue our mission of supporting youth and living a good life."

The project is expected to be completed in 2026.