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Environmental deconstruction begins on old YMCA building

​Contractors have now started demolition of the old YMCA building on Stafford Drive South in accordance to the City of Lethbridge's environmental deconstruction guidelines.

The demolition will focus on mitigating the impact on the environment by selectively dismantling the building components to make sure the best reuse, recycling and waste management strategies are in place. Through this process, 90 per cent of the demolition material is expected to be saved from the City's landfill. This proves a major benefit as construction and demolition waste accounts for approximately 25 per cent of the solid waste stream going to Alberta landfills.

"We take a lot of pride in our environmental deconstruction practices," says Dean Romeril, Property Manager, City of Lethbridge Facility Services. "This is something we've had in place for many years and we continue to improve on to make sure we are being good stewards of the environment."

This process also supports environmental sustainability. By giving materials new life by reusing and recycling, it reduces the need to create these materials from scratch. This in turn leads to energy and emissions reductions by decreasing the refining, manufacturing and transporting of new materials.

A full report of waste diversion items will be prepared for the City at the project's completion, but some anticipated diversion techniques are:

  • reuse of various doors, frames and door hardware
  • reuse of the interior and exterior aluminum windows and doors
  • repurposing some of the pool deck equipment
  • reuse of various mechanical & electrical building elements
  • crushing of all building concrete block and concrete to be reused as aggregate for various future construction projects

Over the years, the City has performed many successful environmental deconstruction projects. Through the demolition of the downtown IGA Building (now Casa) the City was able to divert 90 per cent of the commercial and demolition waste from entering the landfill. Similarly, the Auto Appearance Centre Warehouse project on Stafford Dr. (now the City's Stafford Dr. office building) diverted 95 per cent of material from entering the landfill.

The decision to remove the YMCA building was made last spring when the new Cor Van Raay YMCA at ATB Centre opened and the building was left vacant. City Council voted in favor of demolition after building inspection reports showed the facility to be in poor condition. The removal of the YMCA building was deemed to be the most economical option which aligns with the direction of the Civic Commons Master Plan - the planning document which covers the area the building is located on.

The demolition and redevelopment of the site, in accordance with the Civic Common Master Plan, is expected to be within budget and anticipated to be fully complete by June 30, 2020. At that time, the area will become a public green space.

Construction crews are now on-site starting to salvage elements from the interior of the building. Heavy equipment is expected to arrive shortly as the rest of the project gets underway. Residents are reminded to keep clear of the site and respect the construction fencing that is securing the area.

For more information, visit:

Media Contact:
Dean Romeril, Property Manager
City of Lethbridge, Facility Services
Phone: 403-320-3190