The long-awaited Cassellholme redevelopment project is getting underway.
A large crowd gathered for the official sod-turning ceremony Friday (March 11) morning outside the long-term care home on Olive Street.
It’s been well over 10 years since the redevelopment efforts began.
Jamie Lowery, CEO of Cassellholme, says work will get underway in the next few days.
“Some of the fencing is already up, the link between Cassellholme and Cassell Arms will be coming down,” he says. “It has all been disconnected, construction trailers are here so you can probably see demolition starting next week.”
Lowery says the first phase will begin to be occupied in the next two years with the entire project to be completed in about four and a half years.
“This is the biggest project that this region is going to see in probably the next 50 to 60 years,” he says. “It brings lots of jobs, brings lots of opportunities and even for economic development. People that move to our region want to know that there’s a safety net for seniors and this is a big part of that.”
“By building on Cassellholme’s existing site, we will develop the first phase, populate that section with residents, decommission the section of the old building no longer occupied and begin construction on that footprint of the remaining part of the new build,” says Massimo Perricone, Vice President Percon Contracting Inc.
The redevelopment will increase the bed count from 240 to 264 and includes a Designated Specialized Unit along with an Indigenous Unit, which will be a first in Ontario.
“The new facility will meet or exceed current provincial long-term care requirements and meet more rigid infectious disease protocols,” states a release. “New rooms will have additional square footage to meet personal space requirements needed for social distancing. Added community, treatment and recreational space will mean residents, visitors and the community will be able to interact safely and comfortably.”
The cost of the project is $122 million with the province providing up to $65 million.