The building that once housed nurses working at Queens General Hospital is coming down a bit early.
Margo Walsh-Leaman, facility planning director for the Queens General Health Project, says the change is mostly to help the parking situation at the hospital. The relatively wet winters of Nova Scotia turned the parking lot into a muddy and slushy mess. There were issues of patient safety, and it was just unpleasant to deal with, she says.
Before winter comes this year, they want to have the parking lot paved to prevent those issues. Since the old nurses residence was slated for demolition anyway, and will be turned into part of the parking lot, the timeline to tear it down was moved up.
Housed inside the building are public health, palliative care, seniors community health team, Nova Scotia hearing and speech, metal health and addictions services, midwives, and continuing care. In total about 20 people are being displaced.
Those services are going to the former Milton Centennial School until the hospital expansion is completed.
When the school closed in June, it was turned over to the Region of Queens Municipality. Since they have no immediate need for the space, they agreed to lease the school to the South Shore District Health Board for the token amount of $1.
Once vacated, the contractors hope to have it torn down within two months. The length of time is to make sure the asbestos in the building is removed properly.
All staff need to be out of the building by the end of August, which Walsh-Leaman says will be a bit challenging. However so far things have moved along smoothly.
"Everything has fallen into place exactly as it has needed to," she says. "Effective Sept. 1, anyone who visited the old nurses residents will now go to the Milton School."