Williamstown Hospital will soon have a new 'Heart' thanks to the generosity of donors who raised $2.5 million for the redevelopment of key public areas within the hospital, starting this month.
The result of the three-year 'Heart of Williamstown' fundraising appeal by the Western Health Foundation, and fully funded through donations, this project will see a reimagining of a substantial space at the centre of the hospital.
George Kallifidas, a founding member of the appeal fundraising committee, spoke about how much the local community have invested in this project.
"Growing up in Williamstown and now raising my family here, I have a lot of strong memories of our hospital. I was really excited to be part of the fundraising committee and couldn't be happier that this project is now underway. A lot of locals have played a role in making this upgrade a reality, and as a community we should all feel proud. Williamstown will really benefit from the works being done."
The new design provides for a vastly-expanded visitor and patient lounge area, creating a light-filled space overlooking landscaped courtyards complete with a covered walkway for easy access to the nearby hospital café.
There will also be specific spaces for families and small groups to gather, along with extensive outdoor seating and additional public toilet facilities.
The new vision for a central gathering point at Williamstown Hospital promises exciting improvements, while remaining faithful to the existing heritage features of the building and causing minimal impact to normal hospital operation.
"It has been terrific working with so many Williamstown locals to fund this important project," said Julia White, Director of the Western Health Foundation. "From Appeal Patron Steve Bracks to our hospital volunteers in the op shop on Ferguson St, everyone has enthusiastically gotten on board. It's high time that the hospital saw the love and this redevelopment will deliver it in spades!"
The new Heart of Williamstown is expected to open in mid-2020, with preparatory work beginning this month ahead of construction commencing in October.