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Rain delays nursing home

Wednesday, 10th March, 2010

* Last week's storm has brought work at Southern Cross Care's new nursing home to a halt. * Last week's storm has brought work at Southern Cross Care's new nursing home to a halt.

Southern Cross Care's new nursing home could end up a month behind schedule following last week's drenching rain. Work on the $10.5 million nursing home in Eyre Street has ground to a halt after almost 100mm of rain fell on the city in the space of 24 hours.

Chief executive Allan Carter said yesterday that contractors had been ready to pour the foundations for the 40-bed home when the heavens opened on Thursday. "Unfortunately we got all that rain when the trenches were dug," he said."We would have hoped to have the first pour in by now."

Instead contractors, who managed to pump some water out of the trenches, now have to wait until the entire area is dry before calling in the cement mixers."It's nothing that can't be cured, the trouble is it eats into our timeframe," said Mr Carter, who added that the rain had also caused some damage to trenches.

He said the setback could delay the project by up to three or four weeks."We're very early into the project so with a bit of luck we'll be able to catch up. "We had hoped for (completion in) early November, now we're looking at late November."

Mr Carter said the delay would also likely add some extra cost but this was not unusual for a project of this size. The new nursing home, which will be known as the Harold Williams Home, will replace the War Veterans Hostel in Thomas Street. Mr Carter said SCC had past form when it came to rain affecting its projects.

He said it was "totally ironic" that construction of the adjacent St Anne's Nursing Home a few years ago experienced the exact some delay due to rain.

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