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Southbridge LTC project on track for spring 2022 completion

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Southbridge Care Home’s proposed 160-bed long-term care facility is starting to take shape in Owen Sound.

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“The foundation work is complete. The majority of the excavation work is done and site preparation is nearly complete. We have started erecting the first floor walls on the west wing of the building and we currently have 70 per cent of all the underground plumbing and piping complete,” Alex Da Costa, Southbridge’s project manager of development, said Monday.

The build remains on track for completion in the summer of 2022, he said.

Da Costa said workers will install precast concrete floor slabs once the first floor walls are all erected so work can begin on the second-storey walls.

“We plan to start some interior work in the summer, which will including framing, electrical work, sprinkler piping installation and HVAC ducting,” he said.

The plan is to have the three-storey structure fully enclosed by the fall, he said.

Southbridge currently operates two long-term care homes in Owen Sound – the 40-bed Georgian Heights on 10th Street East and the 29-bed Maple View at the bottom of the 10th Street West hill.

The company announced plans in 2016 to build a new 160-bed long-term care home at 1300 16th Ave. E. after it decided not to pursue a proposal to redevelop the city-owned former Grey County courthouse into a 118-bed facility.

City council authorized official plan and zoning bylaw amendments for the Southbridge project in 2017 and, two years later, the province approved 91 new beds for the company’s proposed redevelopment project.

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The province reaffirmed that commitment in September 2019 and also approved the redevelopment of the 69 existing beds at the new site.

Southbridge’s lot is adjacent to property owned by Owen Sound-based Andpet Realty, which is currently building a four-storey 126-unit Owen Sound Gardens Retirement Residence. That project is expected to wrap up in spring 2022.

City hall issued a building permit in September to Southbridge for its long-term care project, which had a construction value of $20 million.

The permit for Andpet’s retirement residence was also issued that month, with the same construction value.

Da Costa said the number of people working at on the Southbridge development fluctuates depending on what work is underway.

Workers have been from a variety of trades, including insulating concrete forms, which is how the company is building the facility’s walls, as well as concrete work, site work and earth-moving, plumbing and electrical.

Operations had to be adjusted to ensure all workers comply with COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

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