The dream of a community health precinct in Launceston's south-eastern suburbs is one step closer to reality, as disability support provider St.Giles is set to expand their Amy Road facility.
With the recent acquisition of the old Newstead Heights School from the state government, St.Giles intends to transform the land and buildings into a multi-disciplinary community health hub, able to service the nearby aged care homes and the Northern Tasmanian community more broadly.
St.Giles chief executive Honni Pitt said the company is calling on members of the community to get involved with the planning process, asking for suggestions for what health services they would like to see at the expanded facility.
"St.Giles was started 85 years ago by generous members of the community looking to give back, and so this is an opportunity for us to return the favour and contribute to those who have supported us," she said.
"We really value the input of our community in this planning process.
"Initial plans for the development could include a sub-acute medical facility, mother and baby unit, disability learning and lifestyle hub, and a complete overhaul of the hydrotherapy pool."
Ms Pitt said the redevelopment would enable the organisation to further deliver its mission of "enabling people to thrive".
"65A Amy Road was the original location of St.Giles before the Department of Education purchased the property in the early 1980s for $0.50 under the proviso that when the land was no longer needed, we could purchase it back for $1," she said.
"So to have this opportunity to redevelop the land and buildings and value-add to our community really is a full-circle moment."
Ms Pitt said the expansion will also future-proof their business model, ensuring St. Giles can continue serving the community.
"At St.Giles, we've survived a pandemic, we've survived economic downfalls, but we're not bullet-proof," she said.
"This redevelopment means we can remain financially viable so we can weather whatever storm comes our way."
St.Giles group asset manager David Cameron said reinstating the onsite hydrotherapy pool is just one challenge of the redevelopment.
"The site has been left empty for the past five years, so the pool, in particular, has a lot of safety issues that need to be addressed," he said.
"If we can get the hydrotherapy pool up and running, that will be the first great benefit to the community."
If you have a suggestion for what services would like to see included in the development, contact St.Giles at firstname.lastname@example.org
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