The time is getting closer to shovels being in the ground for the construction of the new Prescott-Russell Residence.

At the May 13 United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) Committee of the Whole meeting, Chief Administrative Officer Stéphane Parisien said planning for the new long-term care facility on Spence Avenue in Hawkesbury is now at the point where council will soon be able to give its consent for the project consultant to seek pre-qualified contractors who could submit tenders for construction.

Project Manager Andrew Rodrigues of Colliers, the firm the UCPR hired to oversee the new residence project, said that due to the waiting list for accommodation at the existing facility, all 224 beds at the new residence will be occupied when it opens, which is projected to happen no later than December 31, 2022.  Originally, the new residence was to have 146 beds, but UCPR council approved adding an additional 78 beds.

According to Rodrigues, the project is “99 per cent tender-ready.”  Council must approve the development of the tender process for finding a general contractor, adopt a by-law for a new capital project making use of a provincial infrastructure loan, and it must approve a debt repayment limit for the project.

The new Prescott-Russell Residence is projected to cost $80,822,051.

UCPR Treasurer Valérie Parisien said the projected municipal contribution to the cost of the new residence has decreased due to a full operational review of the facility that was recently performed, although she was unable to say how much it had been reduced by.

The review found that savings could be achieved in staffing, equipment, less maintenance, and less energy consumption because the residence will be in a new building.  As examples, Prescott-Russell Residence Administrator Alexandre Gorman said that each resident area at the current facility has 24 people in it, and the new facility will have 30 people in each resident area.  Gorman said that the roof of the existing facility leaked this spring and had to be repaired, which should not happen with a new building.

Rodrigues explained that a reserve fund for maintenance of the new facility is built into the financial plan.

“Essentially, we’re putting money aside for asset replacement and asset management,” commented Warden Pierre Leroux.

Once UCPR council approves the tendering process and related financial plans, construction of the new Prescott-Russell Residence will go to tender at the end of June.