As the $21 million upgrade of Nazareth House continues, organisers of the ambitious public appeal to raise $10 million have thanked the Ballarat community for its generosity.
More than $1.6 million has been raised so far, as stage one of the upgrade nears completion this September.
Established in 1888, the Mill Street aged-care facility will have 85 new beds with en suites, as well as new administration facilities, a chapel and cafe. Work on the project began last August and is expected to be completed by Christmas 2014.
The home is run by Catholic order the Sisters of Nazareth, with a preference for caring for those who are financially or socially disadvantaged.
The two-stage development involves the demolition of wings built in the 1960s and refurbishment of other sections of the facility, increasing its footprint and outlook onto nearby Lake Wendouree.
Nazareth House Sister Superior Clare Breen said the upgrade would allow for better care of residents and would ensure the facility continued to provide for Ballarat’s ageing community well into the future.
Sister Breen said the new rooms and facilities would represent contemporary aged-care standards and allow for state-of-the-art medical care.
She also said it was exciting watching the first stage come together.
“All of a sudden, the roof started to go on. I couldn’t believe it,” Sister Breen said.
“It seemed to be only a few months since we started.”
Sister Breen thanked those who had already contributed to the $10 million appeal.
“We always knew people in Ballarat were generous and they continue to be generous,” she said.
“We’ve received some really sizable donations and there’s not a week that goes by where I don’t receive some sort of donation.”
Appeal chairman Don Moss said the upgrade was going to provide a great asset for Ballarat.
“I’ve been saying this place has been here for 120 years, and we want to make sure it’s here for at least another 120 years,” he said.