Plans moving forward for Villa replacement facility

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Article online since January 8th 2010, 15:41
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Plans moving forward for Villa replacement facility

The project steering committee for a replacement of Villa Saint- Jospeh du Lac is ready to solicit proposals from architectural firms.

Rick Atkinson of the Villa confirmed the news last week. Atkinson said the group hired a project management team in December and they hope to have the request for proposals in the paper as early as this week.

Yarmouth County MLAs Richard Hurlburt and Chris d'Entremont say the announcement is great news for the community. The new facility will have 79 beds. Although the Villa has 79 beds at present, they only operate 72 of them.

The announcement comes after almost two years of collaborations between the Villa Saint-Joseph du Lac project steering committee and the Department of Health under the previous Progressive Conservative government.

"The people who helped make this project a reality worked tirelessly to ensure Yarmouth has the facilities needed to accommodate its seniors," Hurlburt. "As a resident, and as someone who was involved in discussions from the very beginning, I am proud to see this initiative to assure local seniors they won't leave the community to receive adequate care."

Originally constructed as a hotel, the current Villa Saint-Joseph du Lac has been providing care to Yarmouth residents for more than 40 years. In 2008, former Progressive Conservative Health Minister d'Entremont announced the aging structure would be replaced with one featuring a more home-like atmosphere and a layout that would better meet the needs of those with mobility issues.

"This project is a way of bridging the gap between the modernities of 21st century care and the small-town lifestyle our residents have come to cherish," said d'Entremont. "With our population of seniors increasing, it is something worth investing in."

That sentiment was behind the Progressive Conservative government's decision to earmark millions of dollars for the construction of 1,320 new long-term care beds across the province by 2015 — more than half of which were slated to be completed this year.

Both Hurlburt and d'Entremont said the committee, staff and Villa board members are to be congratulated for accomplishing key preliminary work so quickly.

Atkinson said the start of the project's architecture and design development phase is the result of the community coming together. "It is an important day for Yarmouth, as this facility will benefit residents for many years to come."

Villa Saint Joseph du Lac Building Steering Committee

Press Release

Villa Saint-Joseph du Lac, in cooperation with the Nova Scotia Department of Health, is pleased to announce the upcoming replacement of our 79 bed long term care facility.

During 2009, our project steering committee worked diligently to secure the appropriate funding resources and recently completed the exercise of engaging an independent project management company to assist us in this exciting new venture. Working with MHPM Project Managers, the Villa expects to select an architectural design consultant and begin design development in the first quarter of 2010.

Villa Saint-Joseph du Lac has been providing care for our residents since 1959. This bold new project will anchor our position in the community for the 21st century.