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Fort McMurray continuing care centre breaks ground

Construction is underway on the Willow Square Continuing Care Centre, a much-needed facility for Fort McMurray and area residents. 

Fort McMurray continuing care centre breaks ground

L-R: Myrtle Dussault, Mayor Don Scott, Premier Notley, Joan Furber and Murray Crawford break ground on the Willow Square Continuing Care Centre.

The project, which is on schedule and broke ground today, will create 108 spaces with room to expand as the community grows. Expected to open in the spring of 2020, the new facility will offer various levels of supportive living, long-term care and palliative care.

“From fighting for pipelines to investing in continuing care centres like Willow Square, we are on the side of the working people of Fort McMurray. This community contributes greatly to the prosperity of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We’re going to be here to make sure this community has the schools, hospitals and care centres people need to live good lives, and we are going to keep fighting to get a new Canadian pipeline built.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

The $110-million centre is being designed and built by Pomerleau Inc. and S2 Architecture. During construction, the project will support 240 jobs, with an additional 127 full-time positions for care and support staff to operate the facility.  

“The Willow Square Continuing Care Centre continues to be a high priority for our government and for the citizens of Fort McMurray and Regional Municipality of Woof Buffalo. I promised that I would keep this project moving as quickly as possible and I am very excited that construction has started and we are proceeding full speed ahead.”

Sandra Jansen, Minister of Infrastructure

The facility design supports residents by creating a community that includes a café, library, chapel and auditorium. A series of pathways will also ensure barrier-free access to local transit and other amenities. 

“This is an exciting day for families in the Fort McMurray area, who can now watch a better future take shape as this centre is constructed. Willow Square will make a resilient, healthy community even more vibrant.”

Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

Alberta Health Services will operate the new facility and deliver a number of programs and services including resident spaces, home care, support services and the Northern Lights Bridges program, which is a day respite care program for the elderly, disabled, or people with dementia or cognitive impairment.    

“For so many years, the Willow Square Continuing Care Centre was a dream. Today, as shovels go in the ground, seniors and residents of all ages know that the day will soon come when they can choose to retire and age here in Wood Buffalo.”

Don Scott, mayor, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

“We are pleased to be the design-builder for the long-awaited Willow Square Continuing Care Centre our largest building project in Alberta to date. Pomerleau is excited to bring our collaborative approach to the region and to be growing its national presence. Our company is dedicated to transforming our clients' visions into reality and becoming a trusted partner in the process."

Francis Pomerleau, president, Canadian Building Operations, Pomerleau

“Alberta Health Services is pleased the Willow Square Continuing Care Centre is moving forward. This facility will offer more care options for individuals who need ongoing care and support, as well as ensuring the most appropriate setting of care for Albertans.”

Murray Crawford, senior operating officer, Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, Alberta Health Services

Key project milestones include:

  • Construction start – spring 2018
  • Begin construction of parkade and super structure – summer 2018
  • Continue design development and prepare construction packages – spring/summer
  • Complete construction – fall 2019
  • Hand over to Alberta Health Services for operational commissioning in late 2019
  • Estimated opening – spring 2020

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