CAREWEST is poised to sign off on the purchase of the former Apex House in Anson Street to provide improved disability services in Orange.
“As soon as we’ve signed off we will have the keys and be ready to start work within a couple of weeks,” chief executive officer of CareWest Tim Curran said.
“All our funding is secure and we are ready to go,” said Mr Curran.
Apex House which was built as a rehabilitation centre with funds raised by the community later came under the umbrella of the Orange Health Service and the sale to CareWest is being handled by NSW Health Infrastructure.
The first stage of the development will include a children’s respite centre, a respite centre for adults and a child and family services building.
The second stage of the development will be a pre-school development targeting children with a disability or children who find it difficult to attend existing services in the city.
The total cost of stage one and stage two of the former Apex House will be redeveloped at a cost of $2.5 million.
Mr Curran said a delay with the exchange of contracts, which has taken nine months, means CareWest has to work to a tight time-frame. CareWest currently occupies Astill House, which will revert to the United Protestant Association early next year.
Mr Curran said the third stage of the project yet to be funded is an exciting one for Orange filling a void in the community and providing a facility for people with severe or profound disabilities.
“Already we have had some very fruitful discussions with community groups and organisations who have committed to helping us out but it will involve some intensive fundraising,” he said.
Mr Curran said the announcement this week that CareWest has been awarded the Ability Links program by Minister for Ageing and Disability John Ajaka is an important addition to the programs already provided for disabled people by CareWest.
“This is a major new initiative to build social inclusion for people with disability and will involve 55 “linkers” who will be employed across western and northern NSW to pull together new ideas and ways of connecting with social and sporting facilities, events, organisations in a way that has never previously existed for people with a disability.