Hughenden Centre for the Aged Open to the Public
The once empty dirt block on Betts Street in Hughenden has become a coloured landscape of painted buildings and gardened countryside as the official opening of the Hughenden Centre for the Aged (HCA) draws near.
The development will be handed to Council this Friday (March 22) with the gates opened to the public the following Thursday (March 28) for an open day.
Flinders Shire Council CEO Stephen McCartney said he expected this would lead to a flurry of applicants for the highly anticipated building.
"The open day will be very informal," he said.
"It's aimed at those looking to apply for residency so they can look through and get an understanding of what the HCA is about.
"We're expecting a lot to walk through it before making the decision to formally apply.
"The building has come up really well; there is a good amount of landscaping and a lot of shade so it's a reasonably cool environment and there will be even more shade when the trees have developed."
Prospective residents, who had previously submitted an expression of interest, have already been contacted to start the formal application process.
The facility will have 12 individual self-contained rental units, a separate two-bedroom caretaker's cottage, a communal dining room, a recreational area with audio visual equipment and a table and chairs, a respite care suite and office building, a catering kitchen suitable for meals on wheels, landscaped gardens, undercover pathways and room for further expansion.
The first residents are expected to move in after Easter.
The HCA seemed like a pipe-dream for about 10 years as Flinders Shire Council fought to get funding - there had initially been difficulty getting funding because the government's funding bucket provided for general community housing and high-care but not in between.
The Flinders Shire community raised almost $600,000 towards the $5 million project, including the two major bequeaths, and eventually gained support from Federal MP Bob Katter, who announced funding of $4.4 as part of the 2011/2012 Federal Budget.
The two major benefactors were recognised in the naming of the centre –t he Harry Chivers Recreational Hall and Gordon Hughan Dining Hall will form part of the centre, after former Hughenden residents Harold Chivers and Gordon Hughan bequested significant donations towards the centre during the fundraising effort.
For more information contact Community Care Co-ordinator Erin Nielsen on 47412960.