More beds and more jobs taking shape at Edgarley Assisted Living

Edgarley Assisted Living chief executive officer David Knight, director of nursing Mandy Lee and board chair Alan Elijah

Caption (l-r) Edgarley Assisted Living chief executive officer David Knight, director of nursing Mandy Lee and board chair Alan Elijah on the southern side of the current construction site where the community and corporate space can be seen in the sublevel.

At least 20 new jobs will be created at Edgarley Assisted Living in Casterton when the current $16 million redevelopment is completed, it has been revealed.

As the organisation approaches its 65th AGM, chief executive officer David Knight, Board of Directors chair Alan Elijah and director of nursing Mandy Lee were treated to their first tour of the construction site last week.

Made possible by $14.5 million in funding from the Federal Government and support from local member Dan Tehan, the project is a once in a lifetime opportunity according to Mr Elijah who also recognised the vision and enthusiasm of retired CEO Steve Toope.

The project will replace Edgarley’s ageing 43-bed facility with a brand new, state of the art, two storey aged care home boasting 60 single, ensuited, 22 square-metre bedrooms. Below this a community centre is taking shape for functions and corporate use.

“This building is three storeys, but only two from Jackson Street as the site drops away. So from the rear you can see how the community centre fits in the sublevel,” Mr Elijah said.

“It’s a significant undertaking…a once in a lifetime opportunity not only for our organisation but for the Casterton region.

“We’ll have a minimum of 85 staff, which we think will make us the town’s biggest employer and the board is proud that we can provide this economic benefit to the town.”

Mr Knight said the building under construction at the moment was just half the project, with an almost identical building to join its western wall after phase one was completed.

“The logistics are significant, but our plan is to move about half our current residents and around 10 new residents into this new building in May 2021,” he said.

“Once that is done, we can decommission, demolish and clear the site for the next half of the project and the constructors will essentially build all this again, without the sublevel.

“Then when all the construction is finished, the remaining half of our existing residents and another 10 new residents will move into the second new half.

“So, there’s a bit of excitement building that we’re only about seven months away from some of our residents moving from the old building to the new one – at no additional cost.”

Mr Knight said lifts currently being built on the western edge of building one would be in the centre of the finished facility and, with two aged care storeys, the end result was four residential quadrants all with the same facilities such as lounge and dining rooms.

“Having a walk through gave us a great look at the amazing views our residents and staff will have looking south…there’ll be lots of glass and natural light,” he said.

“We are fortunate that Dan Tehan and the Federal Government recognised that a project of this scale could never be funded with RADs (Refundable Accommodation Deposits) and community contributions.

“On top of setting up Edgarley and Casterton for the provision of aged care services well into the future, the government funding has created local construction jobs and shores up 85 jobs in aged care for at least the next 40 years. It’s huge for this community.”

Mr Elijah said the board insisted the contractor used local sub-contractors as much as possible to maximise how much of the money stayed in the local community.

“This is a community-owned, community-run, not for profit organisation and it is important to the board that the economic benefits of construction and of the extra beds flow on to other local businesses and families,” he said.

“As a board, we’re just so excited that it is all taking shape. We’ll have better working conditions for staff, there will be efficiencies once everything is under the one roof and financially it will be easier for management to run the Edgarley business.

“We know and understand our place in the community and no one is, or will be, asked to pay what they can’t afford for a room at Edgarley. Our ethos is serving the community and we are very big on not saying no to anybody.”

Mr Knight said expressions of interest from new prospective residents were welcome, even at this early stage. People can call 5581 1211 or email office@edgarley.com.au

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