The chair of the Queens Care Building Society says now that a site has been secured, they can close in on a final design for the new Queens long-term care facility.
Christopher Clark was reacting to Tuesday’s decision by Region of Queens council to sell the society 11 acres of land at Queens Place. Clark says the province has outlined an 11-step process for building long-term care facilities and moving into the design phase puts them at step 3.
“As we complete each step it’s submitted to government for approval to make sure that we’re meeting their standards, not going overboard with spending money and so on,” said Clark. “By the time we get to step five, complete step five, the government will approve the whole thing and we can start construction.”
Clark says at this point in the process the group envisions the 112-bed facility will be situated on one level next to the Best Western with the entrance to the building facing Queens Place Emera Centre.
He would like to see a park that is accessible to both residents and the public created at the front of the building and points out the new facility will tie into the existing resources people already enjoy on the site.
“The walking trail that goes around Queens Place, which is sacred land, really, won’t be affected,” said Clark. “In fact, it will become a real asset to the facility because it’s surfaced with crusher dust, so easier to push a wheelchair on and so people will be out there exercising or being taken around the trail.”
Clark is quick to note they have a team of architects and builders who are very experienced at designing long-term care facilities that integrate into the surrounding community, and the fine details of the plan will be worked out over the coming months.
He says no matter what the final design looks like, the experience for residents at the new facility will be far superior to the existing Queens Manor and Hillsview Acres. Putting aside the obvious health benefits to residents, Clark says a new long-term care facility will also be a major economic driver for Queens.
“The economics are huge. Construction, the jobs, looking after people. You know, we have 103 people working at the Manor now, Hillsview Acres has, I think about 13. But with a new facility with 112 individual rooms, we’re going to need a much greater staff. So, there will be a lot of jobs and a lot of money being spent in the community.”
Clark expects the design work should be complete by early 2023 and is optimistic the new facility could be opening its doors by Labour Day 2025.
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