Coram Construction co-ordinates 16-month London project
Ontario Construction Report staff writer
Work has begun on the $30.5 million, 110,000 sq. ft long-term care facility known as Henley Place, expected to open in January 2014. Operated by Primacare Living Solutions Inc., the new facility will create 192 new beds for the City of London and Middlesex County, and is expected to relieve some of the burden from hospital acute care beds.
Jill Knowlton, Primacare’s managing director of long-term care operations, says the project will create 16 months of construction employment and 300 new jobs. It is intentionally being built in a residential neighborhood, she adds, so “the facility will be less an institution and more of a home. A long-term care facility is a residence for the people who live there, so Henley Place will fit in with the neighborhood and be designed as a community in itself.”
The three-storey block and hollow core slab structure is enclosed in brick and stucco and features a pitched roof to resemble the adjacent homes. Coram Construction Solutions Inc. will work as general contractor for the construction phase of the residence, after which it will be turned over to sister company Primacare Living Solutions Inc. to operate.
Albert Melchior is project co-ordinator for Coram, a family-run company with a long history. It’s still family-owned and operated, as it evolved from a company started by Melchior’s grandfather in the 1950’s, and Mechoir says Coram is “fortunate to maintain strong working relationships with trades that go back 20 and 30 years.” He added, “We always remember that a seniors’ residence is a place someone’s family member will call home. The idea of family is at the base of everything we do.”
Coram has participated in the construction of seven seniors’ facilities. As a developer and an operator, the company applies lessons learned through experience to each new residence. “Our design horizon is based on a facility serving the community for the next 30 years,” Melchior says. “Best practice building science ensures the project’s sustainability and longevity.”
“The residence will combine the best of a residential space with the high level of care people need. It’s important to care for people in an environment that meets all of their needs and the fact is that an acute care hospital bed isn’t always best for meeting needs beyond physical care,” says Knowlton.
The spirit and feel of a community will be established the minute you walk through the front door. A bright and spacious main lobby will lead to a ‘Main Street’ of centrally located services, including the library, café, movie room, hair salon and spa, encouraging residents to come together and enjoy daily living. “We also respect a resident’s right to privacy so the design includes quieter areas where individuals can do things on their own. We want this to be comfortable so there is a living room where people can sit, a family room where you’re welcome to pull up a footstool and lounge, and a family dining room so residents can invite their families in for a meal and dine comfortably and in private,” explains Knowlton. “Residents are welcome to come with their own pets and we welcome visiting pets, just as you would in your own home.”
The property features two courtyards; one will be secure for dementia residents, while the other will be open and linked to walking paths surrounding the home. “The walking paths will be landscaped with areas of interest, gathering areas and benches and marked with distances so people can use them as part of a fitness plan,” Knowlton says.
Henley Place will welcome neighbors with more than the required number of parking spaces, to make sure both residents and visitors are never left without a space. “We’ll reach out to the local high schools and work with them to provide students with volunteer hours, will encourage school programs to be hosted (here) and will have spaces the community can come in and make use of on their own,” Knowlton explains.
The project’s subtrades include 291 Excavation, Forest City Forming, Kappeler Masonry Corporation, London Mechanical, Arcon Electric and Holman’s Welding Limited. The project has been designed by Lucinda Harp Design.