By Tina Comeau
It’s back to the drawing board, yet again, for the Nakile Home for Special Care expansion project. But in saying this it is still hoped the project, which will see 12 extra beds added to the facility, can eventually break ground sooner than later.
An expansion of the facility had been given the green light by the Department of Health four years ago.
Therefore the delays in seeing this project move forward continues to stir a multitude of emotions including impatience, frustration and optimism at Nakile and elsewhere – the latter feeling being that soon the project will get on track. Yet even Nakile administrator Bertha Brannen admits the delays also stir another emotion: amusement.
“It’s starting to be like a comedy of errors,” she said. Still, Brannen is among those who are optimistic that the project will move ahead soon.
“Our goal is to break ground in the fall, that’s what we’re hoping,” she said. “I have a lot of faith in the project management company that we’ve hired . . . that we will get this done.”
In a report to Argyle Municipal Council on June 12, Deputy Warden Richard Donaldson told councillors the latest architectural drawings for the addition to the facility saw a price estimate come back over budget.
Brannen said it was “well above” budget.
Council was told the architect will come up with new set of drawings that will hopefully be within budget and allow the project to proceed to tender.
Brannen says part of the problem has stemmed from the fact that initially the expansion was going to add 22 extra beds.
“I think that was probably part of the problem…there was a 22-bed design of two separate pods or wings,” she said. “So they just lopped off the 10-bed wing but if left infrastructure for sewer and water that was for 22 beds.”
She notes that although there have been some redesigns of the project, it’s still not been enough to fit within the budget.
The Nakile facility has 35 beds now. When a bed becomes empty it isn’t long before it’s filled up again, and it has pretty much been that way since a couple of years after the facility opened in 1989.
In future the facility has set long-term goals for some assisted-living apartments. But for now, it just wants to see this planned expansion move forward.
So, too, would Argyle Council.
“Again, it’s more delays, more delays,” Donaldson told council. “It goes on and on.”
Although a serious issue, Warden Aldric d’Entremont, looking around the table at his fellow councillors said about the pace of the project, “They’ll probably have it done in time for some of us.”