by NZ CATHOLIC staff
CHRISTCHURCH — A state-of-the-art aged-care complex is set to rise on the eight hectare grounds of the historic site of the former Nazareth House in Christchurch.
“It would be a vibrant, living community of care,” said Sr Dominica,
regional superior of the Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth, Australasia, and chair of Nazareth Care Australasia, which is developing the complex.
Sr Dominica added that although Nazareth House is a Catholic community,it is open and welcoming to all people.
The new “Community of Care” complex will offer a continuum of care, including licence-to-occupy independent living villas, rest home, hospital and dementia care facilities, and a range of community services. A new chapel will also be built using the original marble
altar, stained glass windows and other treasured items salvaged from the former chapel — which has since been demolished. A small convent will also
Building to start on Christchurch’s new Nazareth House be established on site.
“We are very excited about this new venture, which will bring Nazareth back to life in Christchurch. It’s been adifficult two years, but we look to the future with hope and trust,” she said.
The first of 20 units are scheduled for completion this year. The rest will be finished next year and the total complex by 2016.
A third of the total cost will be funded by the insurance payout on
Nazareth House. Sr Dominica said she hoped a fundraising appeal will help contribute towards the shortfall.
She said Nazareth House will be a low-density development with lush
landscaping and a strong connection to the community.
“We want to create a real community of our own, but which also connects to the wider area so that residents still feel very much in touch with the wider community — a community within the community. Integral to this is the development of what we’re calling a marketplace, which will feature things like a café, hairdresser, small cinema, pharmacy, and hopefully a medical centre — all the sorts of things you expect to find in a community,” she explained.
Nazareth House and its chapel were irreparably damaged in the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, and in 2012 the aged-care facility, convent and chapel were demolished.
The chief executive of Nazareth Care Australasia, Kath Fox, said the
site was divided into three zones that required different levels of ground improvement.
“We want people living at Nazareth to be assured that we have used leading edge technology in the village. Ground improvement works for the first stage of 16 villas has been completed and Stonewood Homes will start building by the end of May,” she said.