Nursing home opens new wing thanks to $12 million investment
THE completion of a $12 million project to extend Bundaleer Lodge Nursing Home represents more than dozens of new jobs and better care for Ipswich's senior citizens.
The Renton Family Trust has placed an enormous vote of confidence in their home town by investing so heavily in the aged care facility that they've built from the ground up.
Robert Renton, who built the original 40-bed facility on Holdsworth Rd in 1970, was on hand yesterday for the official opening of the new 48-bed wing - celebrating an achievement four years in the making.
Bundaleer now boasts a total of 171 nursing care beds.
Mr Renton's daughter Lynette Dresselhaus, who plays an active role in running the aged care centre, said the extension would also allow the family trust to begin renovating an older wing.
"We needed a new kitchen and laundry, but we also wanted to renovate the older building, and to do that we needed some room to shuffle our clients around," Mrs Dresselhaus said.
"Our aim was also to provide more single rooms instead of doubles, providing better patient comfort, while the new wing also has amenities like a coffee shop, and deck area with a pool table, so visitors have got somewhere to go."
Once the family trust completes the renovations on the older section, their total investment in the facility will have reached about $15 million.
The number of jobs that will be created not only in nursing, but in supporting industries like physiotherapy, IT and catering, is also a positive.
Mrs Dresselhaus gave a conservative estimate of about 40 permanent new positions that would be created with the increase in beds at Bundaleer.
That's not taking into account all the construction work created.
The family opted for local tradespeople for the project.
Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said the Rentons deserved enormous praise for showing so much faith in Ipswich.
"This has all been funded by their own resources. They have invested heavily in this area since 1970," Mr Neumann said.
"This is a huge commitment and we are talking about thousands of people who would have relied on the services here over the years."
Mr Renton was a carpenter when he and wife Beryl, now deceased, decided to buy a piece of land on Raymond's Hill and build a nursing home on it.
Beryl's nursing background came in handy as the family slowly increased the size of Bundaleer Lodge over the subsequent decades.
Their four daughters all play a role in running the centre and making decisions.
"It's like our baby," Mrs Dresselhaus said.