Bev MacWilliams, chair of Fairvern Nursing Home’s redevelopment committee says the groundwork for Fairvern’s redevelopment plan is well underway.
In May the committee responded to a Ministry of Health survey with their intention to do the necessary work to meet new Ministry standards and keep Fairvern open. That means that what is ahead for Fairvern is either a major renovation or relocation with a new build. MacWilliams said, “We are looking at all the options. Redeveloping on site is one option. We are also working with Muskoka Algonquin Heath Care (MAHC) in a cooperative way.”
MacWilliams said the number of beds offered to Fairvern is one of the hurdles they are addressing. Fairvern presently has 76 beds. “We have that number of people on the waiting list,” said MacWilliams. And while a long-term care facility with more beds makes a facility more sustainable, the Province has said it will not fund new beds. “That means for towns like Huntsville, that desperately want more beds, we have to wait and see what happens when other facilities drop out of the process and their beds become available,” said MacWilliams. The redevelopment committee plans to request 100 beds.
What comes next is the formal application where, among other things, the Fairvern committee lays out its plan for where the redevelopment will take place, how the capital will be financed, and whether they can produce a sustainable budget. MacWilliams says it will take a few more months to get all the details worked out before they can submit to the Ministry. Following that, MacWilliams believes it could be three to six months before they get approvals and one or two years before shovels are in the ground.
Fairvern is one of Huntsville’s largest employers with more than 100 staff.