Work underway on construction of new home for the Elderly in Gozo
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Work has got underway on the demolition on part of the St Joseph Home in Ghajnsielem, for a new home for the elderly in Gozo. The MEPA Board approved the application in October last year to demolish, and to construct the new premises.
The first phase of the work involves the demolition of existing building and dredging the site.
The Home has most recently been used as a youth hostel and will be divided on three floors with underlying basement parking, restaurant, chapel and ancillary facilities.It will contain 70 rooms with 140 beds, 2 in each room, and will also have specially designed rooms for people who suffer from dementia.
All rooms will have en suite facilities, including facilities for tea and coffee, with balconies that will have the wonderful views of Fort Chambray, Xatt l-Ahmar, the Gozo Channel across to Malta and the Gozo countryside. The proposed development is facing south.
It is expected that the project will be completed within 18 months, at an investment of €1,000,000.
The Architect Angelo Portelli said that the new facilities will be integrated with the existing old buildings already in the area, i.e the residences of Fort Chambray.
The old building within St Joseph Home will be renovated, while another, that has no historic or architectural value, is being demolished to make room for the new development. .
The facility is specially designed both for people who are still mobile as well as for those who have mobility problems, including wheelchair users. The facility has been designed under the guidelines of access for everyone.
Last year the Ministry for Gozo and the Gozo Diocese reached an agreement whereby the Gozo Church will be renting the St. Joseph Home in Ghajnsielem to the Government for the use as a home for the elderly.
The Ministry for Gozo said it will take over its administration, at a rent that will be lower than the market value.
The home may also be able to take foreign elderly residents, which could start a new niche area in Gozo. The Ministry for Gozo has said that preliminary discussions have already started with foreign interests in this regard.
This Ministry said that this project was made possible by the Bishop of Gozo, who was well-aware, that the Government needed to provide a decent home for the elderly in Gozo, which will enable them to live life independently, in a wonderful environment, while also being given a quality service to be able to live a comfortable life.
The Gozo Diocese will provide all religious services that are necessary, desirable or required by elderly residents in the home. These services include, among others, the celebration of two Masses every day. in the morning and afternoon, pastoral exercises depending on the time of year, as well as festive celebrations and functions.
For this purpose there will be a priest present for ten hours a day all year round.
Top photograph: MGOZ/George Scerri