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After years of waiting, construction of Grenfell long term care home begins

Following years of concern around long term care in the town of Grenfell, construction on a new home for the elderly has officially broken ground.

The new 33-bed facility will be built on vacant lands on the northeast corner of Grenfell near Assiniboia Avenue and Highway 47, the province said in a news release.

A $10 million project included in the province’s latest budget — the new facility will include two spa tub rooms, a commercial kitchen, common living and dining spaces, administrative areas as well as a garage and parking stalls.

“We have people that were born and raised here – lived their whole lives here – being able to retire here in a nursing home,” Grenfell Mayor Rod Wolfe said at the sod turning event. “For them and their families, the fact that their grandchildren can walk over here and it isn’t an hour drive is pretty incredible.”

The start of construction marks a new chapter in a saga in the southern Saskatchewan community that began in 2016, when eight beds of the Grenfell Pioneer Nursing Home were closed due to structural concerns.

In August of 2018, the home was closed after mould was discovered throughout the facility.

The home’s 65 full-time and part-time staff were handed layoff notices that September — while the 21 remaining residents were relocated to surrounding communities.

Supporters of the Pioneer Home travelled to Regina months later to highlight the need for long term care in the community.

In early 2019, the province put out a request for proposals for a new facility.

“This project has been years in the making,” said Johann Roodt, Physician Executive of Integrated Rural Health with the SHA.

“[We’re] just extremely pleased to see investment in our local communities … having care as close to home as possible has certainly been highlighted over the last few years.”

For Rural and Remote Health Minister Tim McLeod, the ground breaking event is the fulfillment of a promise from the province.

“The government is committed to delivering high quality healthcare in our rural and remote communities,” he told CTV News.

“This is one of many projects the government has underway and we are looking forward to the day when the ribbon can be cut and the doors are open.”

Scott Builders Inc. — the firm leading the construction — is expected to continue work until the winter freeze up.

Work will resume in the spring of 2024, with the project expected to be complete by 2025.

Grenfell is located approximately 126 kilometres east of Regina and is home to just over 1,000 residents.

With files from Hallee Mandryk. Top Stories

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