Facility could open in 2014 or 2015
What we’re seeing in Carbonear is people moving into town from other surrounding communities to be closer to acute and chronic care facilities.
After the initial funding for the project was announced in the budget, and the site was selected, Kennedy said the next step was site preparation.
Tenders for site preparation were called last fall. But because of some issue with the original tender, Kennedy said site preparation had to be re-tendered and will be completed this year.
“ We’re now at the site preparation stage, which will take us up to August. By then we expect to call tenders for (actual construction) of the facility,” Kennedy said.
He said a consortium of companies is planning the facility, led by Crosbie Engineering Group. Architect John Hearn has been hired to work with the engineering firm. And a number of mechanical and electrical engineering firms are also involved in the project.
“I expect to see steel start to go up in the spring or fall of 2012 — but preferably spring, if everything goes as planned, because that gives you a longer (construction) season.”
Kennedy explained once the funding for planning and site preparation was announced in the 2009 budget, funding needed for the remainder of the project is projected out over four years, based on the province’s fiscal framework. He didn’t have the exact figures that would be spent each year on the project, except to say, “ that’s all built into the fiscal framework.”
In Corner Brook, Kennedy noted it took four years from the announcement of the project to completion of buildings.
“The best estimate I could give ( for opening) would be a good guess, and that’s all it is at this point, would be 2014 or 2015,” he said.
The 250-room facility is being modelled on a similar facility in Corner Brook, but Kennedy said “ lessons learned” from the Corner Brook project will be incorporated into the Carbonear facility.
While the issue has yet to be finalized, Kennedy said the Carbonear facility will also feature dementia bungalows or protective care residences similar to those at facilities in Corner Brook and Lewisporte for people with Dementia and Alzheimers.
“So this will be a good facility and one that’s certainly needed in the area.”
Editor’s note: Next week Kennedy reflects on his first term in the political arena, lessons learned, battle scars, priorities, and why he is seeking a second term in office.