Work is to start soon on Longridge Aged Care’s multi-million dollar expansion, with the first step being demolition of old units off Attiwill St.
By the end of April next year, at the completion of a $2.5 million building project, the Naracoorte aged-care facility will be able to offer 50 rooms in its hostel.
The expansion has been made possible through the successful application last year for a zero-real-interest loan over 22 years from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.
Four old cottage units at the rear of Attiwill St frontage units will be removed to make way for eight new rooms.
The increasing number of older people in the population means waiting lists for aged care are lengthening, according to Longridge Aged Care executive officer and director of care Elizabeth Broadstock.
“It’s vital that Longridge is able to meet the needs of our rapidly ageing community,” she said. “The new rooms will be large and purpose-built to meet the highest level of care.
“They have been designed to offer all the comforts of home with wall-mounted television sets, big wardrobes and will be light and airy.
“They will be carpeted, have attractive curtains and be painted in warm, modern colours.”
d of the existing hostel wing has been designed by Adelaide-based Matthews Architects with energy efficient features such as a large skylight in the central corridor.
Major renovations will also take place in the kitchen to cope with the greater numbers of residents.
“We also welcome residents’ relatives and friends, as well as residents of the independent-living units to join us for meals,” Mrs Broadstock said.
“We now regularly serve 60 for lunch.”
The project was put out to tender to a large field of interested bidders.
The successful applicant was local builder Springwood Homes and its principals Joe Bunnik and Trent Davis.
Longridge board chairman Paul Nikkerud said he was glad to see local businesses supported by the expansion.
“We are proud that a local work force, led by Springwood Homes, Naracoorte, will be in charge of construction and local contractors will be involved in work,” he said.
Work is due to start on July 21 and completion is expected to take about 36 weeks.
“We are delighted to be able to work with Joe and Trent,” Mr Nikkerud said.
“There has been an ongoing relationship with Joe Bunnik over many years on smaller projects.
“So we have full confidence that we’ll all be able to work together very successfully to bring this very large project to completion.”
Mr Bunnik said: "The project planned for Longridge is an important one for both the community and the Longridge Aged Care organization.
"We have had a long association with Longridge and are very excited that the Springwood Homes team has been awarded another significant commercial project in Naracoorte. We look forward to working with the Longridge board and management team over the next 8 months."
Other works on the site include renovations to staffing office areas and disabled toilet facilities directly accessible from the Recreation Room.
Major earthworks will provide a new access road off Pavy Dr at the rear of the complex. A large cantilevered roof will provide shelter for residents boarding the bus for excursions and provide better access for service vehicles.
“We aim high, and continuing to improve the facility means we can keep lifting the bar,” Mrs Broadstock said.
“We want to remain a leader in aged care in the region.”
Longridge has previously been recognised as a finalist in the Palliative Care Awards and was named in top three in an Australia-wide Workplace Satisfaction Award.
“I am very proud that Longridge continues to grow,” Mrs Broadstock concluded.
“We can prove to the community the value of top quality aged care and its importance in our later years.”