Work is finally underway on a new 10-bed residential hospice on Pleasant Street in Moncton.
Dennis Cochrane, the chair of the board for Hospice Southeast New Brunswick, said the project has been in the works since 2004.
"We've heard from a lot of people who have been by and after all these years and all this time are recognizing that this is really going to happen," he said.
Construction on the $5 million project was originally set to begin in April.
But Cochrane said the tendering process was delayed by the pandemic.
There have also been a few design changes.
"It still has all the features that it had before, which of course are 10 patient rooms, a dining room, a sun room, the offices, the kitchen and four family rooms so that people who are visiting their loved ones have a place to kind of stay or at least set up a kind of headquarters while they are there supporting their loved one," Cochrane said.
It includes a pediatric palliative care bed.
Cochrane points out there is a hospice in Saint John and one in Fredericton, and there is a project underway in Miramichi, but nothing in the southeast part of the province.
"Up until now if someone wasn't able to pass away in their home, the only option was to go to the hospital," Cochrane said.
The hospice is being built on 2.2 hectares donated by the Hum-Lew-Sun Lions Club in Moncton's Lewisville area.
The federal and provincial governments have already committed $2 million to the project. And Cochrane says they've received some corporate donations.
Soon, they'll be starting a public appeal.
"This is an opportunity for people to give whatever they feel they can. It's a facility that everyone hopes they don't have to use but quite frankly it's inevitable that a number of people will be using it over the next number of years," he said.
For Cochrane, who has been with Hospice SENB since the beginning, seeing construction equipment on the site is exciting.
He says the aim is to have the building weather tight in October. And if all goes well, the facility will be able to welcome its first client May 1, 2021.