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Northumberland County is responsible for Social Services in the County and this includes Long Term Care Homes. The home operated by the County is the Golden Plough located on County property at the northwest corner of Elgin and Burnham but it has reached end of life and does not meet current standards. Since renovating it to meet current requirements would be more expensive, even if it were possible, the County has embarked on a rebuild with a budget of $80M. golden plough At 200,000 sq. ft., the new building will be double the size of the current lodge and will include 6000 sq. ft. devoted to an archive/museum facility which will relocate from their current space at the Library.  When the new building is complete, the current building will be demolished since it would be too expensive to re-purpose the building for (e.g.) low-cost housing.

The new building will have 180 beds compared to 151 currently.  Each unit will have a window to open space – some into interior courtyards.

There is an overview of the project at this Cobourg News Post

The Archives are included because the County has expanded its mandate for archives to include the entire County (not just Cobourg) and has outgrown the space at the Library.  The new facility will include “display and exhibition space to showcase a diverse range of County stories”.

Progress Report - 25 January 2023

The Golden Plough Lodge (GPL) & Northumberland County Archives and Museum (NCAM) Redevelopment Project continues to progress well, with resident move in on track for the summer of 2024. The third-floor structure walls are now complete, with work underway to finish installing the steel roofing structure to close in the facility early this year. Once the roof is in place, mechanical and air handling equipment will be craned up onto the roof while inside, work will continue with the interior wall framing of the 180-bed facility.

Where are we now?

The project is now 45 per cent complete and remains on schedule. Building trades are busy installing interior walls for the resident rooms and running thousands of metres of water and drainage pipes, fire sprinkler lines, air ducts and electrical conduits to service the 200,300 square foot facility.

The site has also seen the arrival of mechanical equipment for heating/cooling and boilers, and premanufactured duct work and piping assemblies. This proactive approach will help limit any potential construction delays due to supply chain issues.

"Construction is progressing on a number of fronts," commented Denise Marshall, Northumberland County, Director of Public Works who is leading the engineering and construction effort for the County. "With the load bearing walls now complete for all three stories, installation of the roof is underway. Once the roof is in place, we can then start to enclose the building from the outside elements."

Where are we headed next?

Work will continue with the construction of interior walls to begin the frame-out of the resident rooms, hallways and large spacious dining rooms.

Crews will start hanging the suspended ductwork from the ceilings which will keep residents safe and comfortable with warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer. Behind the scenes, the project team continues to work on procuring furniture, fixtures, and equipment as well as preparing transition and operational plans for residents and assets for relocation to the new facility in mid-2024.

Note re Northumberland County Archives and Museum (NCAM)

Preserving our past and preparing for our future

With over 400,000 archival materials and more than 600 artifacts, preserving and storing the past while ensuring space for future growth is an important consideration for the new NCAM.

"To meet our current requirements as well as our future needs, we had to seek out expert advice to develop a specialized storage system", commented Abigail Miller, NCAM Archivist. "We needed a storage system that would meet a high, curatorial standard."

Working with SpaceSaver Solutions, who are specialists in the field of archival storage, a system was designed to prioritize the needs of the artifacts and provide an enhanced experience for visitors. Special features include:

  • Storage cabinets with visible shelving for display and secure behind-the-scenes showcasing;
  • Oversized tray drawers for storing large plans and maps;
  • Mobile racks for safely storing and displaying framed artwork and photographs; and
  • Oversized shelves for storing and displaying large artefacts.

The storage units are moveable to maximize space and have a sophisticated drive system for smooth, balanced movement to prevent shifting or damage to fragile artifacts. This state-of-the-art system, installed in a secure, climate-controlled environment, will help NCAM to work to achieve a Category A Curatorial standard designation, which will enable staff to acquire and borrow cultural property of outstanding significance and national importance to Canada. 

The current archive collection will be carefully relocated to the new facility's collection storage room in 2024. Once the items are safely stored, the remaining available space will still provide over 40 per cent new storage space for future growth.

"With over 50 thousand linear feet of storage we plan to be able to continue collecting for another 15-20 years," explained Miller. The specialized shelving unit will be funded with the generous support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

Take a look at progress up to October 2022

More details

The Project manager who provided the update in a report to the County's Public Works committee also said in November 2022:

The project has experienced challenges related to a combination of variables including supply chain, labour disruption and resourcing, weather, inflation, higher interest rates, etc., which is resulting in higher projected forecasts than originally budgeted. As a result, the projected cost will increase from $115,428,998 to $127,249,219.

The schedule has been updated with a new projected occupancy date in late January 2024.  Subsequently, the new facility will be cleaned, furniture, fixtures, and equipment will be moved into the new facility and GPL staff will be training in the new facility to ensure efficient workflows prior to resident move-in anticipated for Summer 2024. Substantial completion of the project including demolition of the existing GPL and completion of campus site works is projected for October 2024.

Simulation of Final Building

This is a virtual tour video which explores the concept design for the Golden Plough Lodge long-term care home portion of this project – that is, it does not include the Archive.

There is a little more detail at the County's web page.

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