When Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender’s mother died, it brought comfort to him that she had died in a place where she had been happy, a place that she had comfortably called home.
The moment of her passing was brought to mind for Fassbender at the official opening of the redeveloped Langley Lodge on Friday afternoon.
“People who live here don’t call it Langley Lodge, they call it home,” said Fassbender.
The lodge, Fassbender added, “is not a destination, it’s a journey.”
The facility completed its $28 million renovation and expansion earlier this year.
Renovations were carried out in an occupied facility, said Debra Hauptman, the executive director of Langley Lodge, prompting Keith McBain of the Fraser Health Authority to compare the project to changing the oil of a Boeing jet in mid flight.
“It’s not an easy task,” he said.
The fact that renovations occurred while residents continued living in the facility is a lesson to be learned, said Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for housing in B.C.
He said that the pitfalls and advantages of such a large undertaking while residents continue to live in a facility will be studied as the government looks at replacing or renovating similar facilities throughout the province.
The three years of construction followed six years of planning, said Terry Metcalfe, the president of the Langley Care Society.
Langley Lodge is the home of Pearl Murray, who spoke on behalf of all the residents.
“We did have our moments of frustration, with all the banging and noise,” she said, “but now with all the new renovations, we are proud to call it home.”
Also in attendance was Roy Brown. In 1973 Brown was president of the Rotary Club of Langley, and was instrumental in embarking on a feasibility study to establish Langley Lodge, the community’s first long-term care facility.
The new wing has 73 care beds for seniors. The old six-storey tower was renovated to accommodate 66 beds.