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A sign of things to come at Cassellholme

The sign is up and the redevelopment of Cassellholme is closer to reality than ever before
2022 01 19 Cassellholme Redevelopment Sign (Robin Maluga)
The official Cassellholme redevelopment project sign is now in place along Olive Street.

Chris Mayne, the Chair of the Board of Management for Cassellholme says a "snow-turning" ceremony is imminent to celebrate the redevelopment of the long-term care facility.

But first, every groundbreaking ceremony needs a big sign as a backdrop for speeches and photo ops and that is now in place.

This particular sign, however, serves a greater purpose. It makes it official. It is a sign of progress after more than a decade of starts and stops. It is a sign of collaboration and putting differences aside for the greater good. It is a sign our loved ones will receive the care they need and that we will all be afforded the same if needed, one day.

The sign is up and the redevelopment of Cassellholme is closer to reality than ever before. Following construction, Cassellholme will have an additional 24 beds. The 264 total beds include 16 beds for Indigenous residents and an additional eight beds for the special needs units.

Mayne says some initial construction will begin this winter before an increase in activity by Percon Construction Inc. and its subcontractors this spring. The work will continue for an estimated four years. The building plan calls for the work to be done in phases so that the new resident space is built and occupied before the demolition and removal of the current building space. Each new section of the building will replace an existing section of the current building.

See related: Cassellholme shines a light on redevelopment plan

At its most recent meeting, the board unanimously agreed to remove the levies issued to the municipalities for the $121.9 million overall cost of the project. The nine municipal partners, including the City of North Bay and the municipalities of Bonfield, East Ferris, Chisholm, Mattawa, Mattawan, Calvin, Papineau-Cameron and South Algonquin have long opposed both the levy from Cassellholme and the debt guarantee that was a stipulation to accessing lower interest financing from the province's Infrastructure Ontario. 

See also: When the 'levy' breaks a major Cassellholme obstacle is removed

With that guarantee since waived and the levy lifted, the partner municipalities have unanimously approved the financing arrangement with Infrastructure Ontario and the project is proceeding.