Residents and staff of Mid Coast Senior Health break ground on a new $5 million construction and renovation project. (Hannah LaClaire/The Times Record)

BRUNSWICK– Mid Coast Parkview Health kicked off a $5 million expansion and renovation project Tuesday, which will help Mid Coast Senior Health prepare for a future of serving a population that is expected to grow by 46% in the next five years, according to Dugan Shipway, co-chair of the capital campaign.

The construction of a 7,000 square foot wing and the 9,000 square foot renovation to the rehabilitation and long-term care communities at the organization’s 58 Baribeau Drive facility is expected to be completed by summer 2020, with residents moving into the new wing in January.

With Maine’s rapidly aging population, Mid Coast-Parkview Health recognizes the importance of providing specialized care options for seniors,” said Randee Reynolds, Mid Coast­-Parkview Health Vice President of Community Health at an official groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon. He added that the work is also a “pathway to ensuring our community has access to the highest quality, most modern, and comprehensive elder care available.”

The organization started as a regional hospital in the 1960s and while the residential rehabilitation communities have been spruced up over time, they still have a “hospital feel,” Reynolds said.

The facility has 42 beds and will still have 42 beds after the renovation, but 20 new rooms will be added to replace the current semi-private rooms, an announcement which elicited cheers from the residents in the audience who have roommates.

In addition to increased privacy, each single room will include the capacity to be converted to a hospice room if necessary, something that semi-private rooms hampered in the past.

More extensive inpatient hospice services will play a large role in the upcoming renovations and will help keep patients comfortable “at a time when peace, comfort, and dignity are most crucial,” said Charlie Frizzle, building committee chair.

A special room will be dedicated to preserve the memory of Goldie Singer, the face of the organization’s “Our Commitment, Your Health” capital campaign (it’s first in 20 years), who died in Nov. 2017 at 101.

“We were lucky to have her,” said Sandra Morrell Rooney, Mid Coast-Parkview Health Board Chair.

Shipway said thanks to the investment in updating outdated facilities and services that provide “incredible care,” the community will be better off for decades to come.

“With these building improvements in place, we are well-positioned to provide the highest-quality healthcare services to our community well into the future,” Reynolds said in a press release.

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