Nova Scotia

Carmel Centre could become health clinic

There is concern in New Waterford that a building that's home to many non-profit organizations could close in less than a month unless it is tranformed into a community health centre. .

There is concern in New Waterford that a building that's home to many non-profit organizations could close in less than a month unless it is transformed into a community health centre. 

In April, the Carmel Centre Society announced that it would close because of a lack of funding. It was able to remain open for a few more months when Deputy premier Frank Corbett secured $30,000 in short-term funding.

Now, the society wants to renovate the building and open a community health centre.

That plan is supported by a number of doctors, but the Cape Breton District Health Authority is concerned about the condition of the building.

Sister Margie Gillis, the society's executive director, said a new report from their architect shows the building can be remodeled.

"We now have a formal letter from our architect indicating that the building can indeed be upgraded. It is in good structural condition," Gillis said.

"We have located an environmental assessment that was done of the building in 1997, and the environmental assessment clearly states asbestos in this building is minimal, can be managed and poses no risk."

Gillis said they're now hoping for a meeting with the district health authority and Corbett to move the project forward.

She said closing the centre would be yet another terrible loss for the people of New Waterford.

Greg Boone, health authority spokesman, said they have just received a request for a review from the society.

"We have information that was shared by the Carmel Centre and its information from their architect and that's going to be reviewed by our engineering services staff and by our CEO," Boone said.

The centre now houses a number of non-profit groups including the St Vincent De Paul food bank, New Era economic development group, and a seniors' group.

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