Update on construction activities

If you’ve passed by the St. Raphael’s site during the last few months, you’ve probably noticed that construction is well under way. As often happens with the conversion of heritage buildings, a few surprises awaited us.

Despite the structural and architectural verifications that had been done, we discovered that the raised concrete slab beneath the altar was on two levels. So, the structural engineers had to revise their drawing and the slab had to be demolished and rebuilt at a uniform level throughout the home to facilitate access for our future guests. This resulted in a few months’ delay.

Demolition resumed in September and then we made another discovery. The geotechnical engineers told us that the material comprising the slab in the basement of the church, where the day centre is to be located, could not be compacted to strengthen the floor in order to support the weight of an added second-floor mezzanine housing our administrative offices. So almost 1500 metric tons of material had to be excavated and transported to a landfill in Sainte-Sophie.

Several members of the board are monitoring the project’s progress closely and attending the twice-weekly site meetings. The rectory has now been demolished, the interior of the church has been completely gutted and the structure has been reinforced. The foundations of the new main entrance will be poured soon.

We are confident that our project is on track to succeed and that we will soon be able to offer the highest quality palliative care services and support to the entire community for many years to come.

In preparation for our facility’s opening, now scheduled for summer 2019, we have started hiring and are delighted to announce that Ms. Rosemary O’Grady will be joining us as Executive Director of St. Raphael’s. Early in the new year, Rosemary will start putting together a team of professionals and volunteers to prepare for the opening of the palliative care home and day centre, with a view to welcoming the first residents as soon as construction is completed.

Our major fundraising campaign is going well. To date, our generous donors have contributed $8.5 million and we are already planning an event for next spring!