It was an important and necessary step.
And after years of wishing and waiting, Futuristic Industries has a new home to call their own.
The organization officially opened their new space, which is a combination of their old one coupled with the old Sarcan space to unveil a brand new refurbished location at a grand reopening celebration on Sept. 6.
Futuristic Industries CEO Meagan Ward called the grand reopening a proud moment, adding it is a space everyone can be proud of for years to come.
“[The participants will] walk in and they’ll sit in their new chairs or they’ll sit in their new conference room and they’re just all smiles. ‘You remember what this place used to look like Meagan?’ they would say. And they’re just so happy and that makes it so worth it.”
The new space, which is approximately two times the size of their old space, came out of necessity, said Ward, because they see their participation list growing all the time.
“It was so necessary for the guys. It was going to be well-deserved because we’ve been functioning with such little space and we’re just growing. We’re supporting 44 individuals.”
The newer, larger space became possible for Futuristic after Sarcan moved to their new location on 5th Avenue.
Sarcan moving out was always something Futuristic was prepared for, said Ward, who added it was no secret Sarcan was in need of a larger space.
“It always comes down to dollars and cents. It was a long-awaited process but then they had finally found a terrific person to partner with to put the building up,” she said.
“As soon as we had found that there was a space secured, that there was a place they were going, we started dreaming. We started talking to the participants, getting ideas. Lots of hype, lots of energy. We had approached the board and they were just as eager. They just knew that this was a must.”
Work got underway within hours of Sarcan moving out in April, said Ward. Surprisingly, by June it was complete.
“I remember they had taken the last filing cabinet out of Sarcan and it was two hours later Rona came and started knocking down walls,” she said, adding there were cheers.
“Rona was exceptional to deal with. They came in right away, they worked around the guys’ hours and coffee breaks and they did it all so fast and it was so great.”
Of course, a lot of work had to go into transforming the building from a split-use facility, to a single-use facility ready to be used by Futuristic.
Walls needed to be torn down, others needed to be put up, and painting needed to be done, said Ward.
“There was just some major facelifts that needed to be done on our space as well,” she said. “It went all so fast and it was really very exciting for the guys too to be able to watch this process happen. To see Sarcan leave, the last desk go out and then the last walls being painted, it was terrific.”
With the newer, larger space, Ward said Futuristic will be able to support a larger number of individuals in the future, and with 44 in the program currently, and others on the waiting list, having those extra spots available is crucial.
“We know that we’re going to be supporting a lot more people in the coming years – our waitlist is long – and hopefully with some support from the ministry we’ll be able to open more group homes. The functionality of it is so much better,” she said.
In the future, Ward said as long as they have the capacity to have more participants, they will do so.
“Right now we’re at capacity within our group homes and supportive living hours but we’re really on a mission to expand our agency and get more homes because there is a lot of people that are still awaiting residential services.”
Funding for the project came from Futuristic Industries themselves, who, knowing Sarcan were looking for a bigger building, were putting money away to be able to fund the project.
“I am so proud that this was solely an agency-funded initiative,” said Ward. “Because of our wood shop, we have the ability to generate income and store money away. The past manager [before] myself was really good about holding tight on funds, which was of amazing benefit for our guys now. This is a project that is solely [done on] our own and that is a really awesome feeling.”