The shape of things to come at Wontama: development application lodged with council

BIG PLANS: How the redeveloped Wontama aged-care facility will look.

BIG PLANS: How the redeveloped Wontama aged-care facility will look.

A DEVELOPMENT application for a new look Wontama was lodged with Orange City Council on Friday with work expected to start in May next year.

UnitingCare Ageing residential operations manager for NSW Michelle Turnbull, said the new Wontama in the heart of Orange will be state-of-the art.

The new facility to be built will be at the north-western side of the existing Wontama site.

The current administration building will be demolished under the new proposal with the new two-storey nursing home to be built further in from Byng Street than was previously planned.

Wontama management is describing the new 24-hour care facility as comprising a collection of 18 units forming a “household”.

“Each household has its own kitchen, lounge and dining areas, ensuring residents have opportunities for socialising,” Ms Turnbull said.

The building will consist of four  households with two contained on each floor.

Ms Turnbull said UnitingCare NSW ACT has engaged Australian experts in aged care facility design and dementia care for the project.

UnitingCare Ageing director Steve Teulan said after talking to existing residents at Wontama and the Orange community privacy has been identified as a priority along with support close at hand for residents.

“This household model design offers just that,” he said.

Mr Teulan said the new project features beautiful landscaped gardens, an on-site cafe, chapel and a range of adaptable activity areas all specifically designed for the use and enjoyment of residents, family members and friends.

Ms Turnbull said Wontama has a proud history of caring for aged and frail residents since 1967 and the new concept will encourage residents to get outside and enjoy the outdoors and come together in communal areas such as the cafe with the broader community.”

She said another benefit of the revised design is that it will not disturb existing residents who will only be subject to one move once the new building is completed.

UnitingCare says it consulted earlier this month with residents, families, staff and volunteers and neighbours of the village.

The development application is now subject to the usual procedures of approval through council.

Pending council approval work is expected to start in May next year and be completed in November 2016. 

Three years ago in January 2010, UnitingCare announced plans to redevelop Wontama. 

However the project was delayed when it was decided to revise plans.

A spokesman for UnitingCare Ageing said details of the number of residents to be housed at Wontama on completion of the new development are not available at this time.

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