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Retirement Village Plan for Sacred Heart College Site - Apr 2004

Christchurch based Ryman Healthcare Ltd has bought the former Sacred Heart College site.

Ryman plans to turn the 2.7 ha. Wanganui site into a retirement village with independent and assisted living apartments and a village recreation centre. Ryman would provide rest home and hospital bed facilities subject to Whanganui District Health Board licensing approval, managing director Kevin Hickman said. Up to 150 residents would be accommodated on the site.

“This is a little gem of a site and is walking distance to the beautiful Virginia Lake reserve. We are thrilled to be able to secure it for the elderly of Wanganui,” Mr Hickman said. The Gothic style chapel, built in 1918, would be retained and protected, he said. It was a “wonderful heritage building which holds special significance for the city”.

The site’s former owners, the sisters of St Joseph of Nazareth, are pleased the chapel will remain. Sr Justin Collins said she had great memories of services at the chapel, both as a student and as a sister. “It’s a very beautiful chapel,” she said. Sr John Bosco Kendall said she was delighted Ryman was looking at making the chapel available for community use.

Mr Hickman said planning for the village would begin shortly.

No decisions would be made on what other buildings would remain until structural analysis and other information had been obtained. As the property was sold by tender and there was no guarantee the company would be successful, it hadn’t wanted to do too much work in advance.
A target opening date hadn’t been set.

Ryman and the sisters of St Joseph had agreed to keep the purchase price confidential, Mr Hickman said. It has a capital value of $3.24 million.

Lawyer for the sisters, Richard Moore, said eight tenders were received, one from Melbourne. “The interest was widespread throughout New Zealand.” Mr Moore said while there was a sadness among the Sisters now the property they’d been associated with for 92 years had been sold, they were very pleased with the way Cullinane College was going.

Ryman, a public company, announced its purchase yesterday after meeting its New Zealand Stock Exchange notification requirements.

It posted a record net surplus after taxation of $15.3 million for the year ended March 31, 2003, up 38 per cent on the previous year. Last November it reported a half-yearly profit of $8.4 million – up 10 percent on last year.

Ryman operates 13 retirement villages from Auckland to Invercargill and the company provides homes and care services to more than 2200 New Zealanders, employing more than 1100 staff. It is converting the former Princess Alexandra Hospital in Napier into a retirement village. It has won the Australasian Aged Care Housing Award for the best retirement village in New Zealand for three successive years.

Sisters of St Joseph of Nazareth, Sr Justin Collins and Sr John Bosco Kendall are pleased the chapel at the former Sacred Heart College site will be part of a new retirement village planned for the site.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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