An expansion to the Tignish Co-op Health Outreach Centre will provide community and recreational space to house programs and services for seniors, new mothers and youth of Tignish and area.
Federal and provincial funding totalling $555,000, was announced for the project, a 40- by 60-foot addition, on Feb. 21.
Health centre manager Wendy Arsenault said the expansion is in keeping with the facility’s role as a one-stop centre for health care services.
“There could be a seniors card game; maybe they would plan their footcare for the same day," she said.
“It’s the same way with anything in the building: If (people) have a doctor’s appointment, they might book a hearing aid test the same day. They’re getting both things done at once and it’s more convenient.”
Asked if the extension will help the co-operative in its mission to attract more medical professionals to the centre, Arsenault said that’s not really the intent.
“This is more for the community. It’s totally for the community,” she said.
“The rest of what we have in the health centre, that’s our drawing card for a nurse practitioner or a doctor – all the other services we provide here like the collaborative practice. That’s what’s hopefully going to draw one of each.”
Egmont MP Bobby Morrissey, who, on behalf of federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Catherine McKenna, announced $303,000 in federal funding for the project through the Community, Culture and Recreation stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure plan.
“The expansion of the Tignish Co-op Health Outreach Centre will allow this important community hub to offer more programs and services to the residents of Tignish and the surrounding area,” he said.
The provincial government is contributing $252,000.
“This expansion will provide an inclusive environment and a community hub for Islanders to enjoy," said P.E.I. Infrastructure Minister Steven Myers.
"We want everyone to have ample opportunity to live an active, healthy lifestyle and socialize with community members of all ages,”
The total cost of the new construction hasn’t yet been determined, as planning is still ongoing.
Any additional costs will be covered by the Tignish Health Co-operative.
“We’ve been saving, and we’ve been fundraising, and we knew it was coming for a while, so we have some money stashed away,” Arsenault said, adding the expansion has been in the works for at least a year and a half.
“The community could use a place like this,” she said.
“It’s a great thing for the community.”
The construction also allows for the replacement of the exterior ramp and steps at the side entrance with an interior ramp.
“It’s going to be a safety factor, too, that we don’t have to constantly be repairing a ramp and watching for ice,” Arsenault said.
“You will go through the door and you will turn to your right and there will be a ramp that will take you right into the health centre, and you go straight ahead into the outreach program.”