Amalgamated Builders Limited (ABL) formally signed the contract to complete the rebuild, and took over the building site in mid-October. Since then significant progress has been made – as well as clearing the demolition area, asbestos testing has been completed in the existing building (Pinel Unit) adjacent to the building area, to ensure any necessary removal is completed safely before structural work is undertaken. As additional spaces are exposed, there continue to be interesting discoveries of past building features, e.g. window frames and wallpaper.
The concrete platform for the new inpatient unit was poured at the beginning of December. Enabling works continue, as the older areas are joined with the new, eg. additional fibre installation and electrical upgrades.
When the rebuild began, it was necessary to separate off part of the inpatient facility (Pinel Unit) that adjoined the demolition area and building site. To reduce the negative impact of the building activity on patients and staff, some inpatients were relocated to other parts of the hospital. In typical Therapeutic Community fashion, patients joined staff to carry personal and lighter items, alongside hired professionals brought in to do the heavy lifting! A shared morning tea and lunch also brought the Ashburn community together to share their experiences of the day. We are confident that we will continue to provide a safe environment for people to address their mental health problems at Ashburn, and that the number of inpatient beds that we have available will remain largely unchanged.