A New Wellness Centre – Who, What, Where, When, Why?
Town Council determined early in its mandate that a new Medical Centre was a priority for them. The existing Medical Centre is made up of two sections – one section being a former carriage house (over 100 years old., Maxwell design), and the front section which was constructed in 1972. The building has seen little in the way of upgrades or maintenance over the years and now requires extensive renovations. It’s layout is also not conducive to the style of collaborative medical care that physicians now require.
In June, the Town hosted a public working session to gather feedback on location options for a new Centre. The 100 attendees weighed in on considerations such as walkability and costs and provided feedback to Council on the need for consideration of the many types of wellness services that could benefit residents, as well as the need for proper facility design.
The four locations being considered were: the existing location at 108 Sophia St. (demolish and build new, or extensive renovations), ground level at the Arena (former Call Centre leased space), Town-owned land at the corner of Bar Rd. and Champlain Ave., and privately-owned land at the corner of Marine Science Dr. and Bayview Drive. Two additional locations have since been proposed for analysis: town-owned Public Works Yard, and the Legion property on Queen St.
Since the public working session, we have learned the government funds are not available for facilities for medical professionals. The cost to build it would, therefore, need to be borne by taxpayers and private donors.
Council has reviewed the feedback from the attendees, as well as from the Age-Friendly Community Committee and other constituents, and has asked Staff to investigate funding opportunities for a consultant’s study on appropriate wellness services for our Town. They’ve also asked Staff to consider the costs of all locations that could accommodate a phased-in construction plan – the first phase being doctors’ offices, and the second phase to accommodate other wellness services.
At the June 3, 2019 Regular meeting, Council passed the following motion: “It was moved by Councillor Groulx, seconded by Bishop and carried that Council identify the W. C. O’Neill Arena as the preferred location for the new Wellness Center. Council also instructs Staff to inquire with professional design consultants and report back to Council about the anticipated costs to begin the design phase of the project.”