Construction officially begins on Regional Mental Health Care, St. Thomas new forensic facility

Proposed St. Thomas facility

ST. THOMAS, ON, April 1 /CNW/ – Steve Peters, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London joined Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, St. Joseph’s staff, volunteers and patients, community members and partners for St. Joseph’s forensic mental health care building’s official groundbreaking in St. Thomas.

The St. Thomas facility will be a new 233,640 square foot hospital for forensic mental health-care built on the existing lands in St. Thomas and will replace the current facility. It will provide specialized inpatient and outpatient services, including assessment, treatment, outreach and support services to individuals with a mental illness who have come into significant contact with the criminal justice system.

The new facility will better support staff and a recovery model of care for patients by creating healing environments within a neighbourhood and community setting. The model promotes individual growth and skill development enabling patients to return to community living more successfully.

In addition to the health-care benefits, the project will also provide a boost to the regional economy by supporting and creating jobs. At the peak of construction, it is estimated that 200 workers will be on site daily. Construction of the new mental health facility is expected to be completed in June 2013.

The overall project also includes a new mental health-care facility which will be constructed adjacent to Parkwood Hospital in London. The Regional Mental Health Care London facility will be celebrating the start of construction on April 8, 2011.

Integrated Team Solutions (ITS), the consortium selected to design, build, finance and maintain the new mental health facilities represents a joint venture between EllisDon Corporation and Fengate Capital Management Ltd., with EllisDon also providing design build services. The facilities were designed by Parkin Architects and architects Tillmann Ruth Mocellin. Honeywell Limited will provide facilities management. Scotia Capital acted as financial advisor to ITS.

Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are working with St. Joseph’s to build the hospitals, which will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable. Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to managing some of the province’s larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects – ensuring they are built on time and on budget. As well, it is dedicated to providing the public sector and not-for-profit organizations with long-term financing to renew their infrastructure.

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