Ritz Lutheran Villa con­tin­ues with rede­vel­op­ment plans

The Beacon Herald - - LOCAL NEWS - ANDY BADER POST­MEDIA NEWS

The Ritz Lutheran Villa board of direc­tors and man­age­ment team – push­ing for­ward with plans for a multi-mil­lion dol­lar rede­vel­op­ment pro­ject – wants the pub­lic to par­tic­i­pate.

“We are pleased to ad­vise that we have se­cured the ser­vices of (third-party firm) IC Fund­ing and Cor­ner­stone Ar­chi­tec­ture of Lon­don to help us find fi­nanc­ing and de­velop pre-con­struc­tion schematic de­signs, re­spec­tively,” said ad­min­is­tra­tor Jeff Re­naud in a press re­lease. “This is an im­por­tant mile­stone in our devel­op­ment plans, as it will al­low both the board and em­ployee-driven rede­vel­op­ment com­mit­tees to pro­vide val­ued in­put on what we would like to build.”

A pro­posed 6,689-square-me­tre (72,000-square-foot) two-storey fa­cil­ity will be built on the cur­rent Ritz Villa cam­pus that would in­clude the 128 long-term care beds while con­vert­ing the cur­rent home for the aged into 40 in­de­pen­dent re­tire­ment-liv­ing units. The ex­ist­ing 48 beds at the Mitchell Nurs­ing Home, which the Ritz Villa pur­chased more than a decade ago, would move to the new fa­cil­ity, clos­ing the home. The two-hectare (five-acre) prop­erty would then be re­de­vel­oped or pos­si­bly sold.

Not much has changed with that plan, which was of­fi­cially out­lined to West Perth coun­cil in Fe­bru­ary, Re­naud said.

“We have a cou­ple of ideas float­ing around in terms of de­sign,” he said last week, adding the Ritz Villa board and ad­min­is­tra­tion team have worked closely with the Min­istry of Health and LongTerm Care.

The board has also an­nounced the villa has launched a “soft” mem­ber­ship drive to help bol­ster the num­ber of en­gaged com­mu­nity part­ners that can help with up­com­ing ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to the cam­pus devel­op­ment.

Newly elected board chair David Mur­ray said “our mem­ber­ship drive is crit­i­cal to both re­ju­ve­nate and en­hance the num­ber of peo­ple we have who can lend our rede­vel­op­ment pro­ject sup­port.”

He added “the board is look­ing to the fu­ture with re­newed op­ti­mism and is look­ing for­ward to en­gag­ing our com­mu­nity with our plans for a re­vi­tal­ized hub for se­niors and those who re­quire care.”

The villa has sent out more than 400 cor­po­rate mem­ber­ship drive brochures in an at­tempt to “re­cruit peo­ple to come on board and help us as things ramp up,” Re­naud said.

“What the pub­lic should ex­pect to see in the near fu­ture is plans for devel­op­ment and a lot more pub­lic pro­file as we are able to start talk­ing about it,” he con­tin­ued. “There will prob­a­bly be a cou­ple of stake­holder en­gage­ment ses­sions com­ing up where we part­ner with the min­istry where we talk about the bed con­sul­tants con­sol­i­da­tion, as well there will be an op­por­tu­nity when we have a schematic de­sign for the pub­lic to take a vir­tual tour of our new fa­cil­ity.”

Re­naud ex­pects these stake­holder meet­ings to take place be­fore this holiday sea­son.

“Novem­ber and De­cem­ber will be fairly busy for us,” he said.

At the re­cent an­nual gen­eral meet­ing of the Ritz Villa, Mur­ray was elected the new chair, with Al­lan Young and Paul Par­lee cov­ice chairs. Other board mem­bers in­clude Julie Mor­ris (sec­re­tary), Ch­eryl Moore (trea­surer), Betty Duwyn, Nancy El­lens, John Van Bakel, June Os­born, Donna-Lynn McLaugh­lin and Ken Faust (all direc­tors).

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