Aged care in Dubbo has received a massive boost with Bracken House announcing an $8 million expansion that will create an extra 20 beds and create as many as 20 additional part-time jobs.
Construction is expected to get under way in a week and will be completed in three stages and once completed, will ensure Bracken House is a state-of-the-art aged care facility, with 73 beds.
United Protestant Association district manager Megan Whitney said it was a landmark day for staff and residents of Bracken House.
"We've got eight additional beds on the special needs unit and 12 additional beds in our general hostel, as well as a big internal fit out to cater for the additional residents and upgrading so we are up with the best,"
"This has been in the planning for a good five years and finally happening so it's a very exciting day for us."
Stage one of the project will consist of the construction of the eight extra special needs beds and is expected to take 20 weeks. Stage two will be the internal fit-out of Bracken House, before the completion of the 12 additional general beds. A house owned by Bracken House at the front of the grounds will also be demolished to aid in the construction.
The total construction time is expected to be about 73 weeks.
David Payne Constructions won the tender for the build and Bracken House district president Tod O'Dea said he was extremely pleased a local company will handle the job.
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We're very pleased a local company won the tender, we know we can work with him and it will go well.
"It's a challenge for them, working on a building where there are residents living but David Payne and his men are aware of that and very obliging. they will make sure everything goes right for the residents," Mr O'Dea said.
"This expansion will create employment opportunities, not just in the construction phase but Bracken is going to need more staff."
Ms Whitney said everything possible would be done to ensure
"It will be a bit of a disruption for residents but we will minimise that as much as possible. There will be a lot of team work and cooperation. The finished product will also make it worthwhile for everyone," she said.
Architect Paul Huxtable, from Allen Jack+Cottier described the project as a significant one and an opportunity for Bracken House to become a leader in aged care.
"We're not talking about a small project, this is a major project that will be a major benefit for the city and a win for everyone.
"It's quite simple as a building. It's single story and no particular challenges but we hope to incorporate so features that are considered to be up to or ahead of the game in terms of design of nursing homes.
"Design of the individual bedrooms will be as home-like as possible and it will be integrated into the community.
"In terms of urban design for aged care, this is really ideal."