Hospice of Waterloo Region
The Gies Family Centre, Hospice of Waterloo Region is a new hospice palliative care centre and residence in North Waterloo. The project realizes Waterloo Mayor Jaworski’s vision to build the first hospice in The City of Waterloo. Built on five acres of a sixth generation heritage site, the hospice is located adjacent to RIM Park not far from the junction of The Grand River and The Conestogo River. The Waterloo Hospice was built with funding from the provincial government in combination with the support of generous donors in the community including the Gies family, who donated 2.5 million dollars.
Working within environmentally sensitive lands required coordination with the Grand River Conservation Authority and the City of Waterloo. There is a small creek on the property, and the surrounding wooded areas are home to a plethora of wildlife including an array of nesting birds. This project was executed with great consideration for the natural environment, and incorporated a large infiltration component with a storm pond adjacent to the site.
Mid-way through the project, costs of building materials increased dramatically with the introduction of new tariffs. Meritech was able to modify the design and, despite the unexpected shift in budget, was able to ensure that the number of spaces available for patients would not have to be compromised in the ten-bed facility. This value engineering exercise required thoughtful scrutiny for cost-cutting efficiencies, and the project strategy was shifted to a staging process with phases proceeding as funds were raised.
While The City of Waterloo was planning amenity upgrades for the adjacent playing fields (including parking, washrooms, and an access road), Meritech coordinated with The City to meet their needs for an upgraded access road to the hospice facility, complete with a turning circle.