Canadore College in North Bay is about to break ground on a Village Living Wellness and Learning Centre, a unique project that will bring together a 144-unit retirement residence and a new home for the college’s School of Health, Human Care and Wellness.
The Village will integrate seniors care and living with teaching and skills training in one facility on the 760-acre Canadore College campus adjacent to the North Bay Regional Health Centre.
George Burton, president and CEO of the college, describes it as a multigenerational facility and a living laboratory for applied learning.
The concept leverages the college’s existing infrastructure, including its library, athletic facilities, cafeteria and all-season trail network.
Residents of the retirement home will be able to make use of all college facilities.
They may be able to audit college classes.
The total cost of the Village project is estimated at $25 million, approximately half of which is for the School of Health, Human Care and Wellness. The federal government’s Strategic Investment Fund contributed $5.6 million and the province has offered $800,000 with the remainder financed by the college and fundraised in the community.
The college invited a number of retirement living companies to express an interest in the project and had a great response, according to Burton.
“We went out for expressions of interest, had a great response and narrowed it down to three, so we’ll continue exchanging information with them and hope to make a decision in March or April. We hope to begin construction all at once on both facilities because of the integration between the two and to minimize disruption on campus.”
The school will house a variety of programs, including nursing, respiratory therapy, recreational therapy, dental hygiene, early childhood education, social work, and Indigenous wellness and addictions. Canadore graduates registered practical nurses and offers a degree program for registered nurses in partnership with Nipissing University. It also offers a personal support worker program.
The college plans to conduct research on healthy living that can serve as a model for care of the elderly, and has undertaken to make available advanced Western medicine along with traditional Indigenous healing practices and Eastern medicine.
The Village is expected to be fully operational by early 2018.