An Estevan project that's been 15 years in the making is seemingly still very far away from becoming a reality.
Chair of the New Estevan Regional Nursing Home Committee Don Kindopp has been working toward getting a brand new nursing home built to replace the existing home on Wellock Road, a building that is over 50 years old.
Kindopp says his committee is still waiting for answers on key questions from the Saskatchewan Health Authority, including where the new home will be built, how many beds it will hold, and will the community have some influence on the design of the building.
"There was a great deal of frustration on our part because we went so long in this process, and nine months after the budget indicating that the study would start...not much had been accomplished," Kindopp said.
The initial agreement quoted the price of the project at $40 million, with the SHA paying for 80 per cent of it, and the community paying the other 20 per cent.
"It's seven years this month that we raised our eight million dollars as our part of the project," Kindopp said. "So we've been in a hole now for seven years, and that's way too long in our mind. This needs to get built."
Kindopp added that his committee had a study done that concluded that the new building could be built for roughly $10 million less.
Where the new home will be located is still up for debate, but Kindopp said beside St. Joseph's Hospital would a be a logical choice and would make the whole operation more efficient, especially if it was attached to the hospital.
He said his team wants the new location to have more of a "home" type feel.
"That they get to decide when they want to get up and what they want to eat, and have friends and families in," Kindopp said. "We want to design it in such a way that the lessons from COVID can be incorporated, making it a safer environment for the employees and for our elders."
Kindopp offered his take on when construction might start.
"I'd hope to say we're turning sod within a year but I don't see that happening, so probably within two years hopefully we're turning sod on this. It's been a long time and it's time to get it done."
Kindopp's committee will be meeting with representatives from the SHA again in April.