Work is well underway on a new infrastructure project at Castlemaine Health that will see the relocation of hospital services and pave the way for a long-awaited new visitor car park.
Construction on the new building in Odgers Road commenced in November and is progressing well, with Bendigo contractors Searle Brothers tracking on schedule.
Castlemaine Health’s new CEO Sue Race, who recently took over from retired CEO Ian Fisher, is excited to see the project taking shape.
Sue said: ” This is a major construction project that will deliver significant improvements for Castlemaine Health staff and those who visit us.”
Once complete, the new building will house the hospital’s laundry and supply departments and the engineering department will relocate to the former supply building, which is set to be refurbished. The current ageing laundry and engineering buildings will be demolished to accommodate the new car park. The former gardeners shed has already been removed and will be related to the top of the hill.
Parking is a significant issue at the hospital, particularly for older people and those with mobility issues.
Castlemaine Health undertook extensive community consultation in 2017 and the major issue raised by the community was access to the hospital.
The hospital received $1.47 million from the state government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund in 2018 for the car park redevelopment. The organisation decided it would make sense to put the car park project on hold until funding was obtained to relocate existing services.
The hospital subsequently received a further boost of $162,598 from the 2017-18 Health Service Violence Prevention Fund towards a redevelopment to better support the security of the after-hours car park.
The new visitor car park will be conveniently located at the front entrance to the hospital building in Odgers Street.
Manager of facilities and engineering Rod Woodford said while masterplanning work continued behind the scenes for the broader Castlemaine Health site, these upgrades were urgently needed now.
“We are grateful to the State Government for the funding that has enabled us to progress this important project,” he said.
“The works will make the hospital entrance more visible, enable better access and improved wayfinding for visitors and patients, and the co-location of our services will provided better occupational health and safety outcomes for staff.”
In the third and final stage of the project, Castlemaine Health also aims to redevelop the existing car parking at the top of Odgers Road to provide secure staff parking.