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Up-To-Date with Dave

Dave Smits, P. Eng., 
Director of Facilities and Capital Projects

February, 28 2024

If you've driven by Cassellholme this winter, you've seen signs of the work going on with the new building. For instance, the roof is almost complete for Phase 1. The brickwork has started on the back of the building, where we’ll join the new building to the existing structure. Check out the current location of the live web feed to see the non-street side of the building.

Now that the new build is mostly enclosed, the heat is on inside. This means work is continuing at a rapid pace. You can check it out by clicking through the new [February 9th, 2024] 360°Virtual Tour.

With spring just three weeks away, we're getting pretty excited! 

We received a new schedule from the contractor. There were some weather delays in the summer and fall of 2023, but we've had a relatively mild North Bay winter. The next milestone of 'substantial completion' should be around September 19th, 2024. This means we can start the move-in process in early October.  

There are so many details to arrange between now and then! We're all working to nail down [I just can't help myself :-D] the transition plans for the different departments. I look forward to sharing those details with you in the coming months. In the meantime, we truly appreciate your patience and understanding.

Things are looking up! If you’ve been checking the LIVE WEBCAM, you’ve seen the results of our big push to get all the structural steel in place for Phase One. The outline of Block A and a bit of the transition to Blocks B and C are now visible. You may have also noticed the installation of the septic and storm water systems for the new building at Olive and Drew. These lines will service the complete redevelopment. Getting them installed, allows us to continue with the plumbing in the building.

From here, the construction can be sequenced – like an intricately choreographed dance. For instance, while we’re completing Block A for Phase One, the structure for Blocks B and C can be installed. This means that you’ll see more crew on-site in the days ahead. The now familiar faces, will move over to the other side of the site to work on B and C.
Throughout May you’ll see these projects in progress:

  • structural steel installation for Block A [complete by mid May] 
  • civil sanitary services [completed by mid May]
  • prep work/forming/rebar – including the Link connecting Phase One to the existing building [first half of May]  
  • backfilling – building perimeter [completed by the end of May]
  • structural steel roof joists placed [continuing through May]
  • metal deck installation for each Phase One residential floor [starting early May]
  • floor slab rebar and sleeving [last half of May]
  • floor slab concrete pour [last week of May]
  • underground mechanical services [starting mid May and continuing into June]
  • structural steel installation for Block B & C [continuing into June]

I’ll try to help you visualize what you can see on the LIVE WEBCAM now. The square-ish section on the left is the first of three elevator shafts. To the right of that column, is where the Link will be – joining Phase One to the existing building. Redevelopment Gallery

Here are more exciting updates you’ll hear about in the near future:

  • There will be a new construction schedule available by the end of May, including move-in dates!
  • Speaking of moving in, we’ll also share our updated Transitional Planning overviews in the next few weeks.
  • We’ve received board approval to create a full-size mock-up of a private room – with most finishings and furniture. It will be built in what is now the chapel portion of the auditorium. Standby for timing…
  • The addition of the roof and mechanical penthouse will allow us to add the furnace, hot water heaters, air handling equipment [including cooling] and a generator. These pieces will be lifted into place by various cranes and will add almost as much height as another residential floor.

We appreciate your continued patience and support as we redevelop your loved one's home.

Spring is here and is warmly welcomed by our reconstruction crew! The winter gave us a few challenges and set-backs in our schedule. So, let’s look forward with today’s update. 

Construction Progress – Phase 1

Watch all the action on the live webcam. It's also great to see the local weather!

All of the technical, in-ground stuff [forming/rebar foundations, grade beams and back-filling] will wrap up soon. The structural steel work began last week, which means we’re ‘moving up’. Yahoo!! This is the fun part for all of us to watch. 
We’re finishing work at the old main entrance to allow better access into our fire sprinkler equipment room. You’ll see us cutting some brick to install a new door. This will be loud for short periods of time. We expect to be done there by the end of March.
The Phase 1 end date has slipped further due to construction challenges, as mentioned. Watch for an updated project schedule in May. We have a lot of people and pieces to reposition.

During the structural work there will be welding. Reminder – Percon and their sub-contractors will do what they can to block the activity, but it's not 100% effective.
 Please, do not look directly at the welding, even from a window. Remind anyone you see looking at the welding that it can be dangerous, even at a distance.  
Transitioning Planning
Office Assignments – This work is done, with small changes to accommodate the current staff. Some spaces will have additional data and power outlets installed, or be rearranged as new staff is added.  
Food Services Operation – Space reviews are completed. Some minor equipment changes are noted, including further review of the main kitchen dishwasher. Staff identified two pieces of equipment planned for the main kitchen that are not needed. Some of the planned refrigerators/freezers are being adjusted to create better space for each function. 
Nipissing First Nations [NFN] Partnership/Indigenous Unit Operation and Licensing – A memorandum of understanding [MOU]was approved by Cassellholme’s Board and NFN. Licensing discussions continue and the list of other items to be addressed in the Collaborative Agreement with NFN is being updated.  
Way-finding – Many thanks to the way-finding committee: Anne Carlyle, Interior Designer and Way Finding Consultant, Nathan Jensen, Project Architect, Anita Brisson, Dave Smits, Dan Cote - Facility Manager, Mandy Gilchrist - Manager Activities and 400CLUB, Kim Lalonde - NFN and Wendy Perzul - Family Council Representative. Their work is done and their detailed signage schedule for the RFP is being reviewed. 
We’re approaching local artists to quote on the development of tree images that will identify each of the Resident Home Areas [RHA’s] in the new facility.  
Staffing Plan – Initial review is done for Clinical and has begun for Services.
Storage Plan – The site review was completed to review and measure all current storage spaces. This information will be used to review and plan storage in the new facility.  
Move Plan – RFP issued via Bonfire. It closes today [March 20, 2023].
IT - Planning is underway. 
The following will be addressed in the near future:

  • Health and Safety Policies and Procedures [begins in March]
  • Operations Policies and Procedures 
  • Laundry Plan
  • Training Plan 

In addition, we continue to review the various departments in the facility. It’s important that the staff understand the plans and what they are going to be moving into. This lets us identify and correct any minor issues early, so they can be addressed at minimal or no cost.
Thank you again for your patience and interest in our process.

Construction of the new building is progressing well, despite our wintery weather. Residents are quite captivated. They ask questions, watch and talk about the progress all the time. It's very rewarding for us to see them so excited about the creation of their new home.

There's plenty of steel being used in the foundation and structure that needs to be welded together. As you can imagine, it takes a high heat to melt metal. That heat produces very bright UV light, which can cause physical damage – especially to the eyes. No one should look at the welding in progress, even at a distance. 

We are warning everyone – DO NOT LOOK AT WELDING ACTIVITY. 

The construction crew wears  protective gear and Percon will use weld curtains; however, it won't be possible to block all views all the time. 
When it is occurring, we ask that Residents and visitors ensure they do not look directly at welding activity. Some Residents quickly forget this sort of instruction. We ask that care givers and/or visitors pull the blinds in Residents' room, move them away from the window or redirect their attention to another activity.  

Welding light can be captivating. Check out the webcam online to see if the action is caught there. Let's keep each other safe by reminding everyone not to watch "live".

Getting closer, but not here yet…

Instead of repairing the hammer portion of the piling machine [as mentioned yesterday – September 20th], a new hammer was ordered and is on its way. It’s currently at customs and is now due to arrive on Monday. It will then be set up with the equipment that is already on site – ready to start piling on Tuesday, September 27th. Don’t forget, you can watch the action on the live camera feed

The piling machine has arrived. However, the actual hammer portion won't come until tomorrow [September 21, 2022] as it requires some repairs. Test piles will start tomorrow or Thursday [September 22, 2022].

The piling machine was set to arrive on redevelopment site today and piling was scheduled to start tomorrow. There was, however, a permit processing delay at the Ministry of Transportation [MTO]. The machine will now arrive on Monday [September 19th] and piling will commence on Tuesday [September 20th].

If you aren’t already watching the job site, check it out next week to see the set up and progress of this next big step.

To read more about piling, check out this letter.

Welcome to September everyone! Recently, the focus of our work has been to complete the water service for the new building, while relocating the water service to the existing facility. This caused the water outages we experienced recently and I want to thank everyone for their patience!

We are moving on with excavation along Olive Street to allow us to begin installation of the foundation for Phase 1 of the new building. The foundations for the building must rest on steel "piles", given the soil conditions in the area. Piles are large metal beams that are installed deep in the ground, using an impact hammer. This is called "piling", and it generates significant noise and vibrations. The building's concrete foundation will rest on these piles and the actual construction of Phase 1 of the new facility will rise up from there.

Piling is scheduled to begin the week of September 12th. It will be carried out each day between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Depending on how work progresses, it may occur up to six days a week and take up to six weeks.

Read this letter for more details about piling.

The piling steel for Phase 1 was all delivered last week into the parking lot between Cassellholme and Castle Arms IV, which had an impact on parking in this area. Percon is working to have as many piles as possible moved into the excavation along Olive Street this week. We hope to be able to use this parking until the new lot along the highway has been completed. That's expected at the end of September. Some parking on the grass across from the construction trailers is still available. Please use these spaces if you are on site working the day shift. 

Excavation for the parking lot along the highway will have to occur from the North Tower, across to the new site. This will allow us to install power for lighting and conduit for security cameras in the new parking lot. This work is expected in the next two weeks, so please pay attention to temporary traffic signs that will be in place when this work is being completed. We know this is a very busy area. We're working with Percon to ensure this work is completed as quickly as possible.

The redevelopment is well under way. The new driveway is off Olive Street, with a new parking lot [between Cassellholme and Castle Arms 1] ready for your arrival.

MAIN ENTRANCE [Wednesday, July 20th]
Tomorrow, at 7 a.m., we'll be opening the new main door. This entrance is temporary until the redevelopment is complete. It's clearly marked with a bright purple door - you can't miss it. Still to come – a new Cassellholme sign to go above the door and base moulding – once received, both will be installed.

To keep you up-to-date, we've been adding to the website. Check back regularly; as we continue putting together fresh content. For now, the live camera is... well... live! Just press "play" to see the new driveway and parking lot. As we start construction on the other side of the building, the camera will be moved so you can watch live progress. More exciting announcements are coming. For instance, in August, we'll be starting on the new building! This and other updates from me will be on the web site, on this page.