THE $6.5 million extensions to Sir William Hudson Memorial Centre Aged Care Facility (ACF) were officially handed over to the centre's board of directors this week, marking an important milestone in the transformation of the Cooma based facility.
The renovations feature a reduction in the number of beds per room, enlarged indoor living areas and a sheltered outdoor seating area.
On Tuesday, July 15, staff from the centre, the board of directors and the project manager gathered in the new boardroom to acknowledge the handing over of the new extensions.
Chairman of Sir William Hudson, Winston Phillips, says the new facilities will drastically improve the living conditions for the centre's residents.
"The whole project was about lifting the amenity of the ACF. We wanted it to have a more homely feel rather than that of a hospital," Mr Phillips said.
"There are five new rooms which will have two beds in each, meaning a reduction in bed density across the centre to improve the standard of living."
Canberra based construction company Complete Constructions was responsible for the management of the project which started back in August 2012. Project Manager Rob Bobeldijk says the project took longer than expected due to the complete overhaul of the centre's main services.
"There were some difficulties with the project as we had to put in new electrical, gas and water mains," Mr Bobeldijk said.
"Everything needed to come in the front entry and it was a juggling act to keep the site safe and to balance the needs of staff and residents."
"The major features of the project include a new recreational space and larger dining areas. It will make the residents feel more at home."
As well as improved living areas, the centre now boasts state of the art laundry facilities and new staff training rooms for the 85 staff employed at the centre.
"The new laundry is specifically designed for clean and dirty spaces, this will improved the hygiene and now meets regulatory standards," Mr Phillips said.
Residents now have access to an outdoor seating area which overlooks the greens of Cooma Bowling Club and the Cooma Showground.
Board director Tony Mackenzie was present for the handover, a moment he says recognises the vastly different look of Sir William Hudson ACF.
"It's hard to recognise the new place. These renovations will make a huge difference to the lives of the residents," Mr Mackenzie said.
"People will be a lot happier, it use to be cramped now it's far more open.
"Today has taken rather longer than expected with the complexities of the job, however it gave us the chance to put in fire sprinkler systems and update all our services."