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The Redpoll Centre, Fort McMurray, Alberta

January 10, 2017 by Katie Edwards0

NCN Member Feature: The Redpoll Centre, Fort McMurray, Alberta

In 2017, NCN will be featuring one center (or centre) in the blog per month, to showcase a little about each space, including what makes it unique, favorite features, challenges, and recommended resources. Want your space featured? Contact Katie at katie@nonprofitcenters.org. Redpoll Centre Front Desk

The Redpoll Centre is social profit hub in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.  Home to 16 different agencies, including anchor tenant – The United Way of Fort McMurray, it offers three different meeting spaces, a spacious lunchroom, and reflection room/ resource library.  The shared office space is located in Shell Place, part of the largest recreational facility in Canada.

What is your favorite feature in your space?

The Redpoll Centre offers an abundance of natural light.  In fact, every single space, private and public, benefits from natural light.  This was accomplished through the use of modular wall panels that feature 18” of glass windows that run just below the ceiling height on all the internal walls.  Being in a northern climate, light is a precious resource, especially in the winter.  Being able to provide this kind of work environment for smaller social profit organizations at an affordable rate has been a great boon in our community.

What has been your biggest challenge with your center?

There have been two challenges:

  1. Technology – we invested in presentation techRedpoll Centre inside photonology for meeting rooms that did not integrate well into the existing network environment. The lesson learned was to make sure the various components were compatible with the technology of the larger facility.  This has caused innumerable operational issues.
  2. Culture – we continue to work on a program of tenant engagement. We call our gathering “Flock Meetings”.  Getting some of the smaller organizations to engage has been difficult, owing to their structure and schedule.  While we have had great success with organic connections that have been made, we’re still wanting to enhance our mandated tenant gatherings.

What are your favorite resources that you would recommend to others?

Touchless Water Station – we invested in a touchless water station, allowing tenants to fill up their water bottles with an endless supply of cold, fresh water.  This feature is environmentally friendly and cost effective, in comparison to having one of those water coolers.

Automatic Light Sensors – the entire facility is equipped with motion sensors for turning the lights off and on.  This saves on energy costs and largely negates the need for manual light switches.

Virtual Desk Top Technology – the majority of the work stations in The Redpoll Centre are using virtual desktops, where software is run off the server, not from individual computers.  While this causes some latency issues when watching video or audio content, it is far more efficient in terms of ensuring backups, keeping software up to date and providing IT service.

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About Our Blogger:

Katie Edwards

Katie connects NCN members with the resources they need to make their projects a success. She holds an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University, where she studied nonprofit co-location as part of her coursework. Katie’s research background and her first-hand experience with the Co-location Task Force for the Indianapolis’ Early Intervention and Prevention Initiative give her a unique perspective on shared spaces and nonprofit centers.


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