Construction Officially Finished on Willow Square, Centre Expected To Open In Coming Months

Willow Square is set to welcome its first residents in the coming months.

Construction on the $102 million continuing care centre has officially finished after it started back in the spring of 2018.

The centre, located at the corner of Hospital Street and Franklin Avenue, currently has 108 beds with the capacity to add an additional 36.

Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda tells Mix News they’ve officially transferred control of the property to Alberta Health Services.

“They’re doing a thorough cleaning as we speak and they have to install the new medical equipment and furniture and they also have to stockpile the necessary supplies.”

It’s been designed to provide housing, medical services, and programs to seniors and younger individuals living with disabilities.

Willow Square will be a first of its kind in the community and will be the province’s ‘most advanced’ continuing care centre once it opens.

AHS will get the final say on when the building will officially open, however, Panda expects this to happen in a couple of months.

He adds there are currently no plans to delay the opening of the site due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[AHS] has already gained experience with the outbreaks in other long-term care centres… I’m sure they’re ready to handle any potential concerns with COVID spread,” added Panda.

The majority of outbreaks and COVID-related deaths in the province have come from continuing care centres.

Meanwhile, the project was able to finish around $8 million under budget.

Nearly 600 jobs were created over the past two years through the construction of the building.

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