The Pines held an open house for its new dining area expansion, in Burns Lake on Aug. 12.
The $3.75 million project comprises 492 square metres of a dining hall, a new kitchen and pantry, new patient and staff washrooms, a new lobby and a vestibule area.
There are also 12 tables with 48 seats. The previous capacity was 36 seats.
Senior representatives with Northern Health, including Penny Anguish, Chief Operating Officer and Marie Hunter, Lakes District Health Services Administrator spoke at the event.
The officials explained that the expansion gives residents a safer and more social dining experience than they had previously when meals were served in the recreation area.
The project also allows for better activity programming for residents, since the recreation area was used for dining. Staff can devote more attention to residents during meals, as well.
“As their primary dining and food service area, its important that the space offers a warm, welcoming environment that features artwork, display cases, and windows that offer views to the east and north,” as Steve Raper, Northern Health spokesperson told Lakes District News.
The meals served in the Pines dining area are cooked partly from scratch and partly from pre-made items.
The expansion had been planned for more than a year and construction finished a few months ago.
Though there is a waiting list for long-term care in Burns Lake, Anguish said in April that $3.75 million wouldn’t necessarily build very many more bedrooms at a place like the Pines.
“If you’re increasing the capacity you would need more dining. You wouldn’t get away with building more rooms and not expanding the dining area…It’s more comprehensive than just sticking new rooms on,” she explained.