New Waterford will soon be home to an innovative community hub that includes a new school, community health centre and long-term care home.
Premier Stephen McNeil announced today, Aug. 2, that Breton Education Centre will be replaced and will share a site with new, modern health-care facilities.
“A community hub model is an exciting and innovative opportunity for New Waterford because it brings community resources together in one place,” said Premier McNeil. “It will also provide more exposure to health-care career options for students and create better connections between seniors in long-term care and their community.”
These facilities will be built on the current Breton Education Centre site and share facilities and maintenance services. The soccer field and tennis courts next to the school will be moved to where MacKinnon Field is now and MacKinnon Field will be moved to Colliery Lands Park.
Breton Education Centre is a grades 6-12 school and is 48 years old. A consultation determined that replacement was the best option. The new school will have a theatre and gyms to provide a future home for the Coal Bowl.
“As a school community, we are very excited about this announcement. This is not merely a new school building for Breton Education Centre, but it represents so much more for our students and the community of New Waterford,” said Danielle Aucoin, principal. “This new educational complex will offer individualized and innovative learning, new technology and the benefits that come with it, support community engagement and the availability of outside resources that will help support and engage students in lifelong learning.”
The new community health centre will offer many of the same health services now provided at the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital. These include:
- X-rays and ultrasounds
- blood collection
- cardiac services
- counselling, community support teams and wellness clinics
- space for after hours clinics, all existing family doctors to work as part of a collaborative team, continuing care staff to work on the same site and for physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nutrition to work in one location
“It’s an opportunity to have multiple sectors work together collaboratively, share resources and improve health outcomes for people in New Waterford and surrounding communities,” said Dr. Kevin Orrell, senior medical director with the CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Project. “We can be an example for the rest of the province and country. This will take us in a direction for the future and guarantee that Cape Breton will continue to provide innovative, world-class health care into the future.”
Also included in the project are 12 new short stay-beds for patients who need observation but not in an acute care setting. This could include patients with exacerbated COPD, post-surgery wound care requiring intravenous antibiotics, or those requiring blood transfusions.
The new 60-bed long-term care home adds 36 new beds to the community. The community hub model will allow quicker access to health-care services for seniors in long-term care and gives residents the ability to participate in events at the school.
Construction will begin in fall 2020.
The new community health centre and long-term care home are part of the CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Project, which also includes:
- expanding the Cape Breton Regional Hospital with a new emergency department, critical care department and cancer centre
- renovating and revitalizing the Glace Bay Hospital emergency department
- building a new, modern community health centre, long-term care home and laundry centre in North Sydney
- a new community-based paramedic program in CBRM where paramedics and telecare nurses provide care after a patient is released from hospital