Two years in the making and many more in the planning, one of the region’s most significant developments was officially opened today at Crowley Care in Ballina.

The 22 million dollar construction project marks a milestone in Crowley Care’s history, with cutting edge architecture, boosting the region’s capacity to provide better residential care services for seniors.

The transformational project for Ballina and for Crowley Care, one of the region’s largest employers, features new buildings purposefully designed to enhance residents’ lifestyle.

The development comprises a 42 room residential care building that is filling fast with new residents, a two-story education centre with library and conference rooms, entertainment area, administration centre, chapel, café and central plaza with improved landscaping and way-finding.

Crowley Care CEO Michael Penhey said, “It’s incredibly exciting seeing this large project come to fruition. Our vision was to create inspirational living experiences for our residents and with these new buildings we are able to achieve that. We have a gorgeous river-side location and we wanted our residents to better experience our site’s natural beauty and aspect.”

“We place a high importance on improving the quality of life for our residents and clients. We’ve received great support from our community who have been very patient as we created these special new spaces. It’s fair to say it’s a transformational project providing a lasting legacy for our community making Crowley an even better place to live and work,” said Mr. Penhey.

The development was officially blessed and opened by the Most Reverend Gregory Homeming OCD, Bishop of Lismore. August 8th was chosen as the official opening day because it is the Feast day of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop after whom the new chapel was named.

Crowley’s past Board Chair Steve Barnier was honoured on the day, conducting the official opening and plaque unveiling. Mr. Barnier served on the Board for 24 years and was instrumental in the development of Crowley’s site Master Plan.

The project attracted Federal Government support with overall funding for 32 additional residential care beds. It was secured with the support of the Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan who attended and spoke at the official opening.

The Far North Coast population is ageing rapidly, with seniors an increasingly growing proportion of the total population.