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Former Chesterfield Inlet hospital for rent

Brent Reaney
Northern News Services

Chesterfield Inlet (July 13/05) - One of the Kivalliq's oldest, multi-level buildings is now available for rent as office space.

The St. Theresa hospital was built in 1931, and run by the Grey Nuns of Manitoba for many years.

The three-storey building has been everything from a post office, to its most recent incarnation as a long-term care centre.

"It's a very important historical site for Western Nunavut," Chesterfield Inlet Development Corp.'s Walter Raniowski said.

But soon after the completion of the Naja Isabelle Home for the severely disabled in January, the patients were re-located across town, and the building sat empty.

And with no prospective buyers, Raniowski said CIDC will be renting units on behalf of owner Churchill/Hudson Bay Diocese for the next year.

The Kivalliq Inuit Association moved in just over three weeks ago, and joins other tenants CIDC and the community's member of the legislative assembly, Patterk Netser. Approximately six spaces are still available.

"I really like it there. People come and feel free to speak out where nobody can listen to them," said Netser.

With no other office space available in the community, the Coral Harbour resident had been using a house to hold meetings with constituents when he was in the community. He hopes one of the exploration companies in the region will consider opening a public relations office in the building.

If rental income does not generate enough money to cover the building's operational costs, Rankiowski said it will likely be closed sometime next year.

Because of this, Raniowski has written to both the territorial and federal governments with a proposal to have the building recognized as a heritage site. As of June 27, he had not received a response.

But heritage site applications must be approved by the owner.

In this case, Raniowski said the diocese is unlikely to make such an application because it would require indefinite maintenance of the site.

Calls to the diocese regarding its plans for the building were not returned before deadline.