Planning ahead, isn’t apparently in the plans for Acropolis Manor as any desire to expand on the long term care facility for Prince Rupert has fallen on deaf ears for the moment.
Tony Briglio, the chair of the Northwest Regional Hospital District says that despite making the case for more beds at the new care facility, there doesn’t seem to be much inclination from the powers that be to make any expansion of the under construction facility a reality.
The 20 million dollar project being built adjacent to the current long term care facility, will only provide for a handful of extra beds bringing the total number of spaces to around 75, which many suggest are too few to sustain any future demands.
The Daily News featured details of the developments in Thursday’s paper.
Scale of Acropolis unlikely to grow, says Briglio
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Pages one and five
Despite pushing for more beds at Prince Rupert's new $20 million complex care facility, the chair of the Northwest Regional Hospital District (NWRHD) is not holding out hope the project will be expanded.
Speaking at Port Edward Council Tuesday night, Tony Briglio, chair of the NWRHD, said their arguments "have fallen on deaf ears with respect to any increase at the new facility."
The replacement for Acropolis Manor is currently under construction behind the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital.
Forty per cent of the project is being funded through the NWRHD, while Northern Health is funding 60 per cent...
“We have gone as far at the Northwest Regional Hospital District as passing a motion, that had considerable support, for an additional 10 beds and these being funded 100 per cent through the regional hospital district,” he said.
Then, down the line, they suggested Northern Health pay them back by lowering the district’s contribution amount on a future project.
“The response we have gotten back from Northern Health is that they are not able to borrow money for these kind of things,” said Briglio.
The new seniors facility has been criticized as only providing a handful of additional beds above and beyond historic levels, taking the number from 70 beds to 75.
However, Briglio said Northern Health does recognize there may be considerably more need at the facility as the community grows and the new facility has been designed so additional pods can be added.
Port Edward council also wanted to know why the old facility would not be used to provide services such as drug and alcohol treatment after the new facility is in place.
“Why doesn’t Northern Health just come out and say ‘this building is contaminated, it’s no good?” asked Mayor Dave MacDonald.
Briglio said it would be unlikely that Northern Health would admit the facility “looks a lot better than it is” while there are still residents living in it.
Some of the problems with the facility include past decisions to place vinyl siding over cedar siding, trapping moisture in the walls, as well as building the facility with a flat roof, a recipe for disaster in Prince Rupert’s wet climate.
“If they were on the borderline, I don’t think they would want to come out publicly and say that while there’s still people in that building." he said.
“Not to say that that is the case.”
Coun. Christine MacKenzie asked Briglio if they have received any assurances from Northern Health it wouldn’t make the same construction mistakes that occurred when Acropolis was built 25 years ago.
“Is there some assurance this building is going to last?” she said.
Briglio said he was unable to answer that question, however he noted construction costs across the province are escalating and there is a lot of pressure to bring projects in on budget.
“I hope that doesn’t translate into a cheap build,” he said.