New renovations at Fir Park Village make the facility brighter and more welcoming, facility manager Barb Stevenson said.
The bulk of the reno was completed in August but the finishing touches were just completed.
“The facility looks brighter and more welcoming now and the residents just love it,” she said. “The lighting levels used to be too low for people with poor eyesight.”
The renovations started in December 2012 and took just under one year to complete. The work was completed in two phases.
The first phase involved the wings of the building and involved redoing the floors, ceiling, walls doors, and lighting.
The second phase involved reconfiguring the common area by moving the store and offices, making the dining area smaller and replacing the linoleum flooring.
“Functionally, the entrance is very secure. There is more room for residents and wider access ways,” Stevenson said.
Workers unearthed some surprises while doing the work. A tangled mass of wiring was found when the ceiling was uncovered and had to be thinned out. And damp concrete was found when the flooring was removed, meaning it had to be specially sealed.
“The building is 30 years old and nothing was touched so we wondered if we’d find something,” Stevenson said.
The renovations were underwritten with $1 million from the Vancouver Island Health Authority, $92,000 from the now-defunct Legion Branch No. 55 Building Society (following the sale of the Legion building on Fourth Avenue), and $50,000 from Fir Park’s foundation.
The society is now fundraising for $200,000 it needs for a second renovation which would see the residents’ rooms redone, Stevenson said.
Edited: To reflect the $92,000 donation from Legion Branch No. 55 Building Society, which has been closed down, and not the present-day Legion Branch No. 293.