| Nov 12, 2014

Bonnie George, the administrator at Pine Meadow Nursing Home, has a bit of trouble explaining how the next phase of construction at Pine Meadow will proceed.

A couple of weeks ago, residents moved into the newly constructed wings at either end of the v-shaped home.

Now that all the new construction is completed, crews are renovating the rooms in the older part of the home that were vacated by those residents. When those renovations are complete, residents will move across the hall, and those rooms will be worked on. Then the administration offices will be changed, the main dining hall and servery will be renovated.

“All of this will take place while the home is operating. It's all very complicated. I spent days with the construction supervisor figuring it all out and how it will work,” she said.

The construction phase is now 70% complete and is on budget thus far, George added, and the good news is that a number of residents are in new rooms, enjoying the benefits of an upgraded, grade “A” long term care facility.

Pine Meadow will have only two-bed or one-bed rooms when construction is complete, and each 32-bed wing will have its own admin hub, nurses' and doctors' rooms, showers and baths, common room and activity room, and dining room.

The entire home will be newly finished, and will be up to date in terms of safety and accessibility requirements.

Bill Cox, the chair of the management board that oversees the home for Land O'Lakes Community Services, said that the home has developed a reputation as a first class care facility due to the support of the surrounding community through ongoing fund-raising and donation efforts and other engagement with the home.

“The renovations include a new staff lounge plus space in what is now the dining room for public use,” said Cox. “Some day we hope to have physiotherapy and dialysis offered here for the general public. The space will be there; it will be up to the LHIN or the ministry if the service ends up being available here,” he said.

One thing that Bonnie George is hoping will happen sooner than that is a decision to increase the capacity of the home to 64 residents. The home is licensed for 60 residents, but it has a healthy waiting list, and the ministry approved constructing it to a capacity of 64.

“It will be up to the ministry to decide if we should be licensed for 64 residents, but we will certainly be ready once the renovations are complete,” she said

The projected end date for the project is February 18, 2015, and George anticipates the construction crews will be close to or spot on that deadline.

For members of the management board who began lobbying for the re-build of the home almost 15 years ago, that day can't come soon enough.

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