2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

UPDATE 12.30PM: More than 2000 workers will be employed to build the new $15 million aged care facility at Eastern Heights.

Bulimba based builders Badge have been awarded the contract to deliver the 100 residence precinct by early 2018 with work expected to start in the coming weeks, following today's official ground breaking and blessing ceremony. 

Badge construction manager Brett Smith said there will be about 120 workers on site each day at the height of the project, in March and April next year.

"Throughout the construction we will have about 2000 people employed, including contractors, builders, trade workers and admin staff, and we're looking at hiring local subcontractors now," Mr Smith said.

The new facility will replace the ageing home on Limestone St and the name Villa Maria will be carried across, along with the residents.

While Catholic Healthcare has made every effort to preserve the legacy of its Limestone St site, first opened in 1952, there will be some major changes.

For the first time ever, men will be allowed into Villa Maria.

It means husband and wife will no longer have to be separated and there will be six rooms specifically designed with couples in mind.

Villa Maria Manager Carol Nowak said there were often calls asking about accommodation for men which the women only facility couldn't accommodate - yet.

Catholic Healthcare managing director David Maher said the project to replace Villa Maria had been in the pipeline for at least two and a half years; the demographics of Ipswich was evidence enough the community needed more aged care services.

"It's very significant for us to be able to build a brand new service for the residents of Ipswich, but also to be able to make it two and half times bigger so we can provide a lot more services to more members of the community," Mr Maher said.

9.30AM: Construction starts today on a new $15 million aged care facility at Eastern Heights that will see Villa Maria in the Ipswich CBD emptied.

The new development includes 100 new residences inside the fully serviced facility plus a café, hair salon, gardens and dining areas.

Almost half of the rooms, 40, have already been set aside for residents living at the aged Villa Maria nursing home, while the remaining 60 will be offered up to Ipswich seniors.

The facility is due to be finished early 2018 and developers, Catholic Healthcare, say the goal is to produce a precinct that is "as home like as possible".

There are no plans yet for the future of the old Villa Maria site on Limestone St. 

Catholic Healthcare operates 41 residential aged care services, ten retirement living communities and two healthcare services; caring for 6500 people. 

PHOTOS: The day a prince came to town

Premium Content PHOTOS: The day a prince came to town

In 1954, a young queen was accompanied by husband Prince Phillip on a tour of the...

What kids want: Northern Rivers' youngest leaders speak up

Premium Content What kids want: Northern Rivers' youngest leaders speak up

Passionate voices talk about future and how they'll help shape it

What Ballina really needs to help save boaties' lives

Premium Content What Ballina really needs to help save boaties' lives

Death of renowned Ballina sailor on the bar highlights the dangers