The Grassy Plains Store was destroyed in a fire on Nov. 7, 2018 but a rebuild of the shop is underway. (Submitted photo)

Grassy Plains Store rebuild underway

The new Grassy Plains Store is rising in the same location as the old one after it was destroyed in a fire last year on Nov. 7.

LOOK BACK: Fire destroys Grassy Plains Store

Store owners Gary and Faith Martin had planned on rebuilding just after the store burned to the ground and plans started coming together in February.

READ MORE: Grassy Plains Store owners plan to rebuild after fire

READ MORE: Grassy Plains Store rebuild planned

“Work is progressing well on the new store. We are just finishing some plumbing and door hanging then will be ready for insulating and hanging gyproc,” Gary told Lakes District News.

The rebuild began in August when the foundation was laid, said Fred Carpenter, whose company Fred Carpenter Construction is building the project, which involves a lot of volunteer labour from members of the community.

The new store will be slightly smaller than the old one to allow for more space between it and the adjacent building that houses the meat shop and some apartments.

Like the old one, it will include a kitchen and restaurant but no apartments since it will just be one level.

A specific completion date for the new store wasn’t yet known but Gary said it will likely be finished in 2020.

The destruction of the Grassy Plains Store last year was a blow to Southside residents who regarded the shop as a community hub.

But the community organized to help out the people directly affected, including the Martins and the Saffel family, who lived in the apartment above the store. Kimberley Saffel and her two teenage children lost almost all of their possessions in the fire.

Online campaigns and a potluck event helped raise more than $11,000 for the two families.

RELATED: Community helps Southside families have real Christmas

RELATED: Aid drives come to rescue of Grassy Plains Store fire victims

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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