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$224-million long-term-care facility planned for Royal Bay site

The 306-bed facility got the green light for funding in this week’s provincial budget, with work set to begin in two years

A long-term-care facility designed with a village ­setting for dementia patients is expected to get underway in two years in Colwood’s Royal Bay neighbourhood.

The $224-million, ­306-bed Western Communities ­Long-term Care Project got the green light for funding in this week’s provincial budget, with the ­province contributing $157 million and the Capital Regional Hospital District $69 million.

The Capital Regional Hospital District included the project in its 2023 provisional budget last fall, assuming 30% of the overall cost. Island Health will build and operate the facility, in the same kind of funding and building arrangement used to build the 320-bed, $86-million Summit long-term-care facility on the former Blanshard School site in 2020.

“This is what the West Shore has been waiting for and something we’ve always needed,” Colwood Mayor Doug Kobayashi said Thursday. “This is a big opportunity for our seniors to age in our own community with dignity. Many people have lived their whole lives here and want to continue, and this facility will allow them to do that.”

The Capital Regional Hospital District acquired the land for $8 million a decade ago as the former quarry site wrapped up gravel exports and planning started to redevelop the ­property for residential, commercial and institutional use.

The five-acre site of the long-term care facility, expected to be complete in 2027, is on Metchosin Road next to the Royal British Columbia Museum’s planned collections and archives building. Work on that project is expected to start this summer and be completed by the summer of 2026. It’s also in a commercial hub where Quality Foods expects to open its new grocery store this spring.

Plans for the new long-term-care facility call for a total of four three-storey buildings laid out in a village format and ­featuring a hair salon, bistro and coffee shop for residents’ use. Child-care facilities will also be available on site.

A neighbourhood-like layout will help support resident independence, social connections and overall wellness, according to the City of Colwood. Rooms will be larger to help create a home-like atmosphere for seniors.

The province said in its budget that the facility will include a hospice, a ­specialized unit for younger people suffering from brain injuries and an adult day program.

A statement from the Finance Ministry said procurement for the project is underway.

The province is spending $11.2 billion on health infrastructure over the next three years, including the Colwood project, and providing $6.4 billion to net new operating funding.

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