An artist's rendering of a proposed 200-bed residential care facility near Peace Arch Hospital.

Peace Arch hospital foundation unveils plans for 200-bed care facility

Care facility is being planned concurrently with a renovated and expanded emergency department.

Proponents of a proposed residential care facility near Peace Arch Hospital shared plans of the 200-bed facility with area residents last week.

A public information meeting in the hospital’s cafeteria unveiled artist’s renderings of the four-storey, 140,000-square-foot building, designed in the shape of an X to limit shadowing and the visual impact on neighbouring single-family homes.

The $40-million development is proposed for the southwest corner of 17 Avenue and 156 Street, and is being spearheaded by the Peace Arch Hospital & Community Health Foundation.

Art Reitmayer, past chair of the foundation board, said the facility includes a 15-bed hospice residence and will free up acute-care beds in the hospital. He said the facility is needed in a community with an aging population, allowing residents who need residential care to stay in their community.

“If they need residential care, there’s certainly not an abundance of those kinds of residences,” he said.

Reitmayer said the project was well-received at the July 26 meeting, but some residents have concerns. Chief among them is extending 16A Avenue to link 154 and 156 streets.

“They’re concerned with the ramifications of making that a thoroughfare.”

The project still requires rezoning from Surrey council. If all approvals are met, Reitmayer said construction could begin next summer.

The facility would be built and owned by the foundation and operated by the Fraser Health Authority. Of its 200 beds, 112 would be for complex residential care, 72 for geriatric mental health and substance abuse patients, and 15 beds for a hospice residence. It would replace current residential care beds in the Weatherby Pavilion and the hospital’s existing hospice.

The care facility is being planned concurrently with a renovated and expanded emergency department. Both projects are expected to be complete in 2018/2019.

The foundation is committed to raising $10 million for the care facility, and so far has raised $4.3 million. The foundation’s current fundraising priority is the new emergency department, for which it’s nearing its fundraising target of $15 million.

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