Renovated facility will amalgamate services
The local Salvation Army Church, located on Pope Road extension, is getting an expansion, which organizers hope will allow the organization to better serve the community. Shown outside the construction zone are Major Willis Drover, left, of the Summerside Salvation Army Church, and Majors Wilson Perrin and Stan Folkins of the Maritime divisional headquarters of the Salvation Army Church. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE — If Major Willis Drover was any more excited these days he’d be walking around town rubbing his hands together in glee.
It’s hard to blame him — these are busy times around the Summerside Salvation Army.
A long-hoped for expansion to the church’s building at the corner of Central Street and Pope Road is finally underway after nearly three years of fundraising and planning
Drover expressed his happiness with the project during a recent interview at the construction site.
“Well, it’s great,” he said, a big smile crossing his face. “It’s starting to become a reality now that we can see something happening here.”
The newly-redesigned building will allow the Salvation Army to amalgamate services by having the soup kitchen, family services, food bank and church all under one roof. The thrift store, which is located in St. Eleanors on the All Weather Highway, will stay where it is.
The new arrangement should be much more convenient for clients, said Drover.
“It will better for us because all the things we do will be right here, and it will be more accessible to the clients.”
The whole project is expected to cost about $900,000, most of which has come from community donations and various grants.
Work got started in late August and the contractor, Fitzgerald & Snow, has given an estimated completion date in November.
Drover is really hoping the project stays on that target because the Christmas season is by far the Salvation Army’s busiest time of year.
He also said that regardless of whether the renovations are done in time for Christmas, their holiday programs, like their food hampers, would not be affected.
Currently, the Salvation Army is feeding about 50 people a day, five days a week, at its Water Street soup kitchen and giving out about 60 supply boxes a week from its food bank, which is currently in the back of the thrift store.
Major Stan Folkins, area commander for the Salvation Army, North Atlantic, Maritime Division, was in Summerside on a tour at the same time Drover was being interviewed for this story, and observed that the new building will be a boon for both the church’s volunteers and those they serve.
“I believe this will have a tremendous impact on the lives of people in the community,” said Folkins. “We appreciate it and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to give hope to those in need in this community.”