The biggest current County project is the rebuild of the Golden Plough Long Term Care Home with a budget of $80 million. Approval was initiated in 2016 with design starting in 2018. Completion is expected in the summer of 2022 with demolition of the old building to happen in 2023. Construction should start this summer. At 200,000 sq. ft., the new building will be double the size of the current lodge and will include 6000 sq. ft. devoted to an archive/museum facility which will relocate from their current space at the Library. As well as all this, there will be changes to Courthouse road – ownership of the road will transfer from the Town to the County and this will cause problems for the adjacent Church on the Hill. Well that’s what the Church’s pastor Rev. Dr. Ewen Butler said.
The update on the Plough by County CAO Jennifer Moore (file photo from the 2019 update at right) and the presentation from the Pastor happened at Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting. Jennifer was joined by Gerry Pilon, principal of the project’s architect/builder and although the meeting was virtual, a good amount of information was provided. See the link below for the full presentation but here is a summary.
The reason for the rebuild is that the current building has reached its end-of-life and renovating to meet current requirements would be more expensive, even if it were possible. Also, it would be too expensive to re-purpose the building for (e.g.) low-cost housing.
The Archives are included because the County has expanded its mandate for archives to include the entire County (not just Cobourg) and has outgrown the space at the Library. The new facility will include “display and exhibition space to showcase a diverse range of County stories”.
The new building will have 180 beds compared to 151 currently. Each unit will have a window to open space – some into interior courtyards. There are 3 floors each with similar layouts. The drawing at right shows the ground floor (click to enlarge).
The rooms are small – about 270 sq. ft. per person; some are basic where 2 share a larger room and one bathroom; some are semi-private with separate bedrooms but a shared bathroom and some are private – small but you get your own bathroom. See the plans below. I understand that basic rooms may be subsidized if your income is low enough but the others are not eligible for this. The current basic rate is $1,891/mth, semi-private $2,280/mth and private $2,701/mth but of course this includes food and housekeeping and there is medical care on the premises (but phone and upgraded cable are extra). The maximum subsidy – presumably if you have zero income – equals the rate charged for a basic room.
The dispute with the Church is still being “negotiated” – it seems the problem is that currently, entrance and exit vehicles can go via either leg of the Courthouse road crescent but the proposal is to only have entrance/exit via the west steeper leg. The change is needed to accommodate the larger GPL parking lot. Rev Butler asked that the Town “advocate on their behalf”.
Below are drawings extracted from the presentation showing the Site plan, the plans for individual units and a drawing of the finished building looking at the front entrance. Click any image to enlarge and start slide show.
- Golden Plough Lodge (GPL) and Northumberland County Archives and Museum (NCAM) Redevelopment Project Update