Airdrie Air Cadets looking for home after sale of Legion
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 11:23 am
The 88 Airdrie Lynx Air Cadet squadron is actively seeking a new home and will soon be on the move for the sixth time since 2000.
Presently, the squadron is using the Airdrie 288 Legion parking lot as the home for their 360-square-foot office trailer used for administration purposes by the squad’s officers, and 320-square-foot storage trailer that holds much of the squadron’s gear and uniform supplies.
The cadets currently hold their meetings at Ecole Edwards School, but are unable to utilize the school’s parking lot for storing their trailers. Their previous locations for storage included the old Cam Clark Ford and in the Towerlane Mall.
“We’ve asked Rocky View Schools if we could use that space,” said Darren Miller, chair of the squadron’s parent group, Friends of 88. “They’ve been very polite and good to us but they just don’t have the space.”
The Legion has been sold, which leaves the cadets without a space for their supplies as early as the end of the month.
“We need all of this gear and the office space in order to operate,” said Miller. “There’s stuff in those trailers that we simply can’t do without.”
Miller has approached both the City and businesses in Airdrie in an effort to attain space for the squadron to store their two trailers. While there have been companies that are receptive to donating space to the squadron, there are obstacles because of the times that the cadets operate.
“Propak said yes to us, but the problem is they close up at 5 p.m. and lock their gates,” said Miller. “Our organization is run by volunteers after those hours and on weekends, so we need access to our stuff at those times.”
City staff has been working to find space for the squadron and according to Corporate Properties Director Mark Locking, there are a few options being looked at closely at present.
“Right now, we’re looking at public right of ways such as abandoned roads; somewhere that they can keep these trailers and have access to them 24/7,” said Locking.
“The issue with that though is that these would only be for mid-term use (three to five years). We’re hoping someone in the private sector has space and will step up because they’re generally able to offer something more long term.”
Finances come into play for the cadets with commercial space, as the squadron operates at a budget of about $32,000 a year, a number that Miller said is enough to pay modest rent, but not nearly enough to purchase commercial property.
“It’s important for us to find them a home,” said Locking. “These types of groups provide a great value to our community.”